Dealers under pressure to source older cars

Cartell recently reported that the Irish fleet is aging. This has knock-on consequences for the market, both today and into the future, as consumers find it trickier to locate their next purchase – particularly those who wish to buy three-year-old and four-year-old vehicles. Now motortrader in the UK (where the average age of the fleet is one half of one year younger than in the Republic of Ireland) are reporting on a shortage.

They report:

“Dealers will come under increasing pressure to stock a broader range of older cars as the car parc ages.

That is one of the conclusions of the 2012 Used Car Report from BCA, which revealed that sales of cars aged 5 years and under slipped back by 183,000 units last year.

Dealers dominate in sales of these younger cars, but as supplies are under pressure they are increasingly focusing on cars aged 6 to 8 years, it said. Sales of cars aged over nine years continued to rise last year, by 177,000 to over 2.5 million units representing 37.8% of the totals with private-to-private sales dominating in this sector.

The report, authored by Professor Peter Cooke from Buckingham University Centre for Automotive Management said there will be major changes ahead as the used car market deals with the effects of the second recession in four years.

Tony Gannon, BCA communications director said: “The diminishing supply of quality cars under five years old means used car retailers are having to extend their focus to include vehicles in the 6-8 year age group, where there is a stronger supply as a result of the higher new car volumes in the early 2000s.  In fact, dealer sales of cars aged 6-8 years rose by 63,000 units to 1.1 million last year.

“There are also many more older cars on Britain’s roads than at any time in recent history and these cars are being kept longer before being scrapped.

“The number of used cars aged nine years and over sold last year rose by 7.5% while sales of cars aged under five years declined by 7.2%.

“Older cars are increasingly becoming a fact of life for car dealers and used car buyers and will be going forward as supplies of younger used cars may well remain low for up to a decade.”