Public transport wariness boosting second-hand car sales surge?

Published:  22 October, 2020

 Demand for used cars in September was running 15% higher than in 2019, new data from AA Cars has shown, with concerns about public transport seen as a major motivator.

Some areas saw very steep surges. In Crawley, the area with the biggest increase in demand, searches were up 102.3% compared to last year.

Town/city               Percentage change September 2019- September 2020

Crawley                   102.3%

Glasgow                   96.7%

Cardiff                     70.6%

Cheltenham              63.9%

Bournemouth           52%

Preston                    51.8%

Mansfield                 51.3%

Kingston upon Hull   48.7%

Sheffield                  38.4%

Basingstoke             34.4%

AA Cars pointed towards government guidance for people to avoid public transport as a key factor in the increase. Car use was around 92% of normal during September, while use of National Rail only reached 40% of the expected level.

Commenting on the figures, James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars said:  “The used car market continues to offer an enormous amount of choice to drivers at all price points, and changes in commuting habits may be leading more people to purchase a car so they can avoid public transport.”

Meanwhile sales of brand-new cars fell by 4.4% in September, which saw the lowest number of September registrations in two decades, according to figures from the SMMT.  

Second-hand vehicles being bought or leased with car finance also increased. The most recent figures from the FLA showing a 2% rise in August compared to the same month in 2019., There was also a 1% decline in financing for new cars in the same period.

James added: “With many people worried about their finances, it is more important than ever that drivers take care when buying a used car. We recommend buying only from a reputable dealer, and having a car independently inspected to ensure there are no major problems which could prove costly down the line.”

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