Research by online car retailer BuyaCar.co.uk has found that 68 plates are being sold off as second hand to meet September registration targets.
The company reported that within days of the plate launch hundreds of factory new cars were being marketed as ‘instant used cars’ for sale on the site.
This unusually high number of turnaround vehicles was apparently spurred by high sales in August, off the back of dealerships looking to unload vehicles before WLTP regulations were introduced.
Described by BuyaCar.co.uk as a “fire sale”, in the UK new car sales in August grew 23.1% year-on-year to 94,404 units, marking a 16-year high for the month, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed.
These SMMT figures are exceptional also for the year as a whole, with sales for 2018 down 4% year-on-year. BuyaCar.co.uk said that in August, prices on some cars were slashed by over 35% in an attempt to sell as many vehicles as possible before the September 1st deadline.
Austin Collins, managing director of BuyaCar.co.uk, said: “We always see cars being registered by dealers before there is a customer to buy them but what has been unusual this year is how quickly this has happened in a new plate month.
“It is no exaggeration to describe what we saw at the beginning of September as the creation of instant used cars, in some cases with just a few delivery miles on them, so that dealers could have a fighting chance of meeting this month’s sales targets.
“As the month progresses we anticipate big savings starting to appear on many of the September 68 plate cars as dealers try a final big push meet their new car targets before the end of the month.”
A Cox Automotive overview of the marketplace for July has shown improvements in demand for ready to retail vehicles, including diesel. Vehicle remarketer Manheim continued to show strong increases in the price of sold vehicles, up 7% to £7,298 from £6,816 in June, a 15% year-on-year increase.