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As reported in our July webinar, we have seen that new passenger car registrations are continuing to recover, with 186,000 units registered in June 2021, a total of 910,000 units for the first half of the year. On an annualized basis this would be 1.89 million, which is higher than the SMMT’s current (April) forecast of 1.86 million units for 2021.

LCVs meanwhile have been performing more strongly than passenger cars, and in the past two months exceeded pre-COVID (2019) monthly totals. June sales fell slightly behind 2019, at 34,000 units; total for the half year is 192,000 units, which is above the average for the pre-pandemic era.

Looking at electrification, on a monthly basis, June Battery Electric Vehicle sales hit 11% market share, which brings them within reach of overtaking diesel (at 14%). If mild hybrids are excluded from diesel volumes, Battery Electric Vehicles actually outsold diesels by almost 5,000 units.

In the used car arena we saw values continue to rise throughout June, albeit to a slightly lesser degree than in May, and what is blatantly clear is that they’re moving at such a rate that anyone still using monthly values are going to suffer, because they will be so far behind the curve on actual trade prices compared to retail.

Putting these rises into context, the 2% rise in April, was the highest rise we’d experienced in a single month since 2009. The last 2-months have completely smashed those records. It feels quite strange that, now we’re in the 4th month of values going up, people are almost seeing it as the norm, a bit like when values drop, but it’s anything but the norm.

As June ended, we can see that every sector is now up, even those that were struggling earlier this year such as MPVs.

Sports cars have on average, gone up by over 20% since last July. An unbelievable stat, particularly considering the cost of some of those cars. Consumers have saved money by not socialising, not going on holiday, being tied to home for a lot of the time. They’ve thrown a bit of caution to the wind, bought something that looks good on the drive, makes them happy, isn’t necessarily just a sensible purchase for a commute that is no longer happening.

Alternatively-fuelled vehicles were struggling & actually dropped in value last year, but they have now recovered, with plug in hybrids in particular doing well & worth more than at this time last year, by some 4%. Pure EVs & hybrids have also started to recover some of those previous losses as dealers take a bit more of a risk on putting these cars on their forecourts, obviously feeling more confident partly due to those previous price-drops.

What does this mean in real-terms? if you own a 3-year old Mini Cooper S, it is now worth over £4k more than it was in early April – increasing by almost one third of its value.

Whilst trade values have continued to rise, we’ve not seen such a dramatic impact in retail. Values have been increasing, as we can see from the data we receive, but not to the same degree.

And looking ahead? Even if we DO see another lockdown or increased local restrictions, we believe the industry will continue to function – we saw a massive difference between the last lockdown and the first one and some big lessons have been leaned. Generally, the longer the lockdown, the stronger the used market will still be on resumption.

There is potential for more job losses and softening in GDP growth as the various government support schemes start to unwind, but this will be offset by robust consumer confidence. But we do expect retail demand to soften from where it is now, however, it won’t collapse.

Supply of used cars will continue to be relatively constrained through the rest of the year, but we still have positive outlook for the next 3 months.

Regarding the economy, the outlook remains uncertain but from a used car perspective we’ve still got that concrete benefit of lower registrations last year and this year resulting in lower levels of used car supply in the future.

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