The impact of the second lockdown in November on the car auction industry was not “as severe as it could have been”, according to vehicle data giant Glass’s.
The firm noted that while three key measures of performance – first-time conversion rate, percentage of original cost new, and sales volume index – were lower than in October, the average percentage of the vehicle’s value compared with its new price achieved was only down by 3.6% month-on-month and is 1% higher year-on-year, suggesting that whilst fewer cars were selling, they were still achieving similar values compared with sales in previous months.
Glass’s reported cars that had condition grades towards the upper end of the scale and requiring work were out of favour with buyers and were only selling “if they represented a real bargain”, adding that late plate cars performed better than would usually be expected during the month.
“This is likely to be, at least in part, due to this year’s much lower new car registrations and the extended lead times for new car supply – both factors that make an ‘almost new’ car a more appealing prospect than it may have been in more ‘normal’ times,” said Robert Redman, forecast editor at the firm.
Glass’s also noted that the first-time conversion rates for hybrids and battery electric vehicles are lagging behind those of petrol or diesel-powered cars – despite the relative rarity of an electric vehicle appearing at auction – speculating that buyers of used cars tend to be warier of change, preferring to spend money on a car with a more familiar propulsion system, especially as many of the vehicles that are coming up for auction for real-world ranges of around 120 miles.