Used car sales fell by 6.6 per cent during April to June this year, according to the latest statistics from Experian. Compared to the same period last year, this was the greatest decline in used car sales volumes seen by the industry this decade. In comparison to January to March this year, used car sales fell by 1.1 per cent – representing the first decline from Q1 to Q2 since the beginning of the decade.
The biggest casualty in Q2 was the used mini segment (down 12.4 per cent year-on-year). With the scrappage scheme attracting car buyers to small cars in the new car sector, it has been at the cost of small car sales in the used car sector.
A key highlight during Q2 was the leap in sales in the used sports segment (up 6.0 per cent on Q2 2008 and up 19.5 per cent compared to Q1 2009), prompted by the prospect of a hot summer.
Mark Nuttall, General Manager of Experian’s Automotive business, said: “Although used car sales fell in Q2, used car values have been at their strongest and are likely to remain buoyant over the next couple of years. This should help offset some of the decline in volumes. This has been confirmed by dealer feedback that strong used car values have helped profits either increase or remain stable, despite the fall in sales.
“The fortunes of the new and used car sectors are very much linked and the scrappage scheme has had an impact on the industry as a whole. Although focus on small cars shifted from used to new, the scrappage scheme has helped increase footfall and enquiries to all dealerships.”
Sales of used MPVs were up 7.6 per cent on Q2 2008, although there was a slight (2.8 per cent) decline on Q1 2009 volumes. The biggest increases compared with Q1 2009 were at the higher end of the market, with the specialist sports segment up 19.5 per cent and the luxury segment up 7.0 per cent.
Q2 2008 to Q2 2009 saw the biggest increase in used diesel car sales since 2005. Although hybrid and electric cars continued to see sales rise, the increases were not as significant as in previous years.
While the biggest decline in sales continued to be from Rover cars, sales of Nissans (down 11.0 per cent) and Renaults (down 10.2 percent) were also hit hard. Sales of used BMWs and Volkswagens, which had remained strong during Q2 in previous years, saw sales fall for the first time.
In comparison to Q1 this year, sales of used Mercedes-Benz and BMW were the only ones to perform strongly (up 3.7 per cent and 3.2 per cent).