Car prices: Will car prices drop after lockdown?

With the UK in lockdown due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, fewer people are travelling outside as only essential journeys are permitted. As a result, car sales in the UK have taken a big hit.

What Car? reports that sales in the UK have fallen to their lowest level on record.

It’s claimed just 4321 new cars were sold in April, a 97.3% per cent drop on the same month last year.

Projected sales for the rest of the year are also expected to be down.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) predicts just 1.68million new cars will be sold in 2020, the lowest figure for 28 years.

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Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, told Fleet Point: “With the UK’s showrooms closed for the whole of April, the market’s worst performance in living memory is hardly surprising.

“These figures, however, still make for exceptionally grim reading, not least for the hundreds of thousands of people whose livelihoods depend on the sector.

“A strong new car market supports a healthy economy and as Britain starts to plan for recovery, we need car retail to be in the vanguard.

“Safely restarting this most critical sector and revitalising what will, inevitably, be subdued demand will be key to unlocking manufacturing and accelerating the UK’s economic regeneration.”

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Will car prices drop after lockdown?

Multiple reports suggest car prices are likely to increase the after the lockdown period is over.

What Car?’s Pat Hoy said: “With few people buying cars right now, sales staff are keen to do a deal.

“But the clear expectation is that, as soon as demand outstrips supply, they will look to reduce incentives and discounts and focus on profitability.

“Of course, there will be variables within that. Some manufacturers will sacrifice profit for market share, but the likelihood is that most buyers will face the double whammy of discounts narrowing and waiting lists extending.”


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Car Dealer Magazine reports that used car prices are currently stable but that increases are likely once demand returns.

Jamie Caple of independent dealer Car Quay told the publication: “I’m confident prices won’t just hold, I think they’ll go north fairly sharpish once lockdown ends.

“Of course there will be some garages looking to generate cash quickly plus some feeling the pressures of stocking facilities who’ll want to bail out but by-and-large prices will be strong.

“The last thing we need to do as an industry is panic, I think it’s going to be difficult to buy stock once lockdown is over so what’s the point everyone undercutting each other to then find out we can’t replace what we’ve just sold.

“Selling tenners for fivers and then having to pay tenners for fivers makes absolutely zero sense. Hold tight.”

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