According to many commentators the used car market can only go one way this year and that is up. With scrappage finished it’s likely the type of buyer attracted to the great deals on offer through the scheme will revert to buying used cars again.
This is good news for dealers looking to fill the void left by the new car shortfall but also forces dealers to up their game in terms of how they receive customers looking for a deal on a quality used car.
Used car values should return to more traditional patterns month by month as confidence around stock levels and buyer confidence returns.
There also seems to be evidence of dealer credit not only being more available but the levels of customer declines reducing leading to more profitable business being written.
Of course what remains the biggest challenge, especially for franchised dealers, is their ability to sell older, less expensive cars which appeal to cautious buyers in a recession.
Overcoming the old workshop vs. sales dept issue will be firmly on the agenda as dealers look to find that extra profit created by offering added value and bringing in customers to their brand earlier than perhaps they are traditionally used to.
Even though January caused dealers to downgrade forecasts due to the bad weather, February and March, according to many of the dealers we have spoken with, have more than taken up the slack and perhaps provides for some cautious optimism in the months ahead.