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Surge in demand for used cars leaves dealers seeking stock

11 January 2022


Eight in ten (79%) car dealers say they have seen a surge in used cars in the last six months, accordingly to research from Close Brothers Motor Finance (CBMF). 

The Dealer Satisfaction Survey (DSS) found that more than half of dealers (53%) have seen a significant increase in demand for used car stock, whilst 26% have seen a slight increase. 

The ongoing semiconductor shortage has trickled down to car dealers and retailers across the UK, who’s pricing models have been thrown into disarray thanks to a lack of available stock. The release in pent-up demand from consumers should have boosted sales and facilitated recovery across the sector, but instead it put immense pressure on the new car market, pushing many buyers to the used car market instead. 

A vast majority (83%) of dealers say the semiconductor shortage has meant there simply is not enough stock to meet the consumer demand, whilst 88% admit that getting stock for their forecourts is challenging. 

As the demand continues to accelerate, it’s important that dealers are getting the right stock to meet the needs of their customers. To help dealers, CBMF recently partnered with Auto Trader to launch an industry-first data tool to give dealers invaluable insight into consumer demand in the marketplace. 

The tool, which collects and analyses dealers’ forecourt statistics, allows them to manage their businesses more effectively and achieve their own business goals. It aims to aid better understanding of regional trends, stock inefficiencies and consumer buying behaviour, which in turn, helps dealers engage with customers and unlock their full potential for buying and selling vehicles. 

Chris Aitken, Account Manager, Close Brothers Motor Finance, said: “Utilising data and insights has added real value to conversations that I’m regularly having with dealers. It can be eye-opening for dealers to understand how their pricing models compare to the marketplace, and get a much deeper understanding of why certain vehicles might not be selling. We even identified a car that was being undervalued through the platform, so this insight can make a real difference to our dealer partners’ profit margins. During this turbulent time when prices are all over the place and pricing and stock decisions are far more difficult, it’s extremely valuable to have access to personalised data.” 

Mo Usman, Cars 4 You, said: “In recent months, we’ve worked hard to reach customers in different ways, whether that’s selling with Auto Trader or expanding our social media presence. Having conversations with my Account Manager to work out how I can be more proactive with stock decisions and pricing has been incredibly valuable. Chris’s guidance and expertise helps me to make better sense of what customers want, and saves me a great deal of time too.”

The tool is available to CBMF’s funded dealer partners, and is accessible through every dealer’s Account Manager, who will facilitate analysis and compile the key points to create a bespoke dashboard. Funded dealer partners who don’t have access to an Auto Trader account will still benefit from an enhanced dealer funding dashboard using data from CBMF partner APAK, helping them to better utilise their stocking facility. 

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