New car registrations finished 2019 with a 3.4% year-on-year increase, taking the full year figure to 2.4% behind the 2018 total.
This is according to the latest market data from Cazana, which is marginally better than the 2.7% decrease that the company forecast
Summarising the year-end data for 2019, Cazana’s director of insight Rupert Pontin noted 2019 has been “remarkably stable” for the used car market given political and economic circumstances.
The private market was reported to be 3.2% lower than the previous year, and the fleet market posted a 0.8% increase.
The report said the drop in registrations were not “unexpected given the social and economic landscape and the fact there was a general election in the middle of the month.”
It also noted with the Conservative Party’s win and the Brexit mandate made clear, the country is able to plan constructively for the months and years ahead. Consumer confidence data showed that in the lead up to the election, consumer confidence grew from -14% to -11%.
The report said this was likely to have occurred as the nation had already predicted a Tory win which meant leaving the European Union with certainty.
“This gave consumers more comfort in spending money and it is interesting to note that the automotive industry has been able to outer-perform big ticket item retail sectors and although the new car market has declines the used car sector has been reasonable vibrant,” according to the report.
In addition, the used car market is starting to see a change in the demand pattern, with the report saying the next few years will be interesting as used car buyers “seek the changes in vehicle type that the new car market is experiencing.”
However, the report said with the tail off in new diesel car sales and the increase in new petrol cars, there is a rise in CO2 levels which could result in a new legislation against this fuel type in the future.
The report concludes that December can be marked as a “reasonably good” month for the new and used car markets overall. Though some are still worried about Brexit, the change of government has given the country more of a stable outlook when planning for the future, as there is a set timetable.