European used car sales down 16.4%, reports Indicata

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Used car sales in Europe fell by 16.4% in January 2021 compared with January 2020, due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

Used car sales in Europe fell by 16.4% in January 2021 compared with January 2020 according to the latest Indicata Market Watch insights report

The latest Indicata Market Watch insights report reveals that many of the 13 countries in the report suffered lockdowns of some kind that compromised used sales.

The UK, Germany, Denmark and Turkey were the worse hit, with sales down by 40.4%, 17.5%, 22.7% and 25.1% respectively.

However, Indicata said that the switch to online sales had countered some of the impact of lockdowns.

Andy Shields, Indicata global business unit director, said: “While we have seen sales fall in January, many countries are still busy selling used cars online to accommodate lockdown restrictions. It shows just how resilient the used car industry is.”

The research also shows consumers continued to migrate to low- or zero-emission used cars.

Year-on-year sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and hybrids continued to grow, although BEVs remain in oversupply and stock turn was struggling.

Prices consequently are starting to fall as dealers remain faithful to low- and zero-emission cars to meet every changing consumer demand.

Indicata also said that with some country’s lockdown restrictions likely to be in place until at least May or until vaccination levels increase, dealers are having to balance reducing prices on stock for a quick sale with keeping their in-demand cars back until the market returns to some form of normality.

Andy Shields added: “There is a growing volatility in the market pricing with some models rising and others falling. Dealers and remarketers need to keep a close eye model-by-model on market conditions to ensure their stock is priced correctly to avoid losing sales.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.