Posted 23 December, 2020 at 13:15
BARGAIN-HUNTING MOTORISTS are receiving a Christmas bonus with a surge of nearly-new cars on sale at used car prices, the online car supermarket BuyaCar.co.uk has revealed.
As dealers struggle to recover from a year of coronavirus restrictions and fear a possibly disruptive New Year Brexit, they are scrambling to register cars to boost 2020's sales figures. Many of these vehicles will be sold as heavily discounted nearly-new cars - and thousands are appearing already.
Analysts at BuyaCar.co.uk have seen a rise of more than 50% in cars available with less than 100 miles on the clock compared with this point last year.
And cars ranging from zero to 25 recorded miles are up by almost 20% on the same period.
It all adds up to what BuyaCar calls 'possibly the best Christmas ever for car buyers'.
New car sales have taken the biggest hit during the worst year in memory for Britain's car industry and November's lockdown alone caused a 27.4% fall in registrations. But dealers rely heavily on bonus payments for registering cars - traditionally known as 'bonnet money' - from manufacturers, who are desperate to maintain market share.
So now there is even more pressure than usual to push registration figures up at the end of the year, due not only to the impact of coronavirus but also to the potential problems of a no-deal Brexit which many believe could disrupt the market even more in the first part of 2021.
BuyaCar.co.uk is already seeing an increase in cars registered in recent weeks, which have been driven only by dealer staff or as demonstration vehicles, and expects to see more as the clock ticks down to the New Year.
At this point a year ago there were 3,595 cars available for delivery from BuyaCar.co.uk, with less than 100 miles on the clock, and 1,508 had 25 miles or fewer. This year those figures have shot up to 5,415 and 1,807 - a figure that is rising daily.
It means that this holiday period offers a bonanza for people who have held off from changing their car this year, with an unusually wide selection of lower mileage cars becoming available for home delivery.
"Christmas cheer may be in short supply this year, unless you're looking to change your car, because this is possibly the best Christmas ever for car buyers," said Andy Oldham, Chief Executive of BuyaCar.co.uk.
"December is traditionally a quiet time in the new car market but this year it follows the most difficult new car sales period in memory. Despite the record number of cars many of us have sold in the used market, manufacturers need to boost demand for their new cars and dealers need to recover the ground they lost during the second lockdown.
"This all spells even more choice for used car buyers, with heavy discounting from new prices for those who want the very latest car. Until the market is fully on the road to recovery, with coronavirus and Brexit adjustment pressures behind us, we expect BuyaCar.co.uk to continue providing a genuine 'buyer’s market' for the foreseeable future."