Finance penetration at UK dealerships has increased year-on-year for both new and used cars, while Brexit concerns have had a detrimental effect on showroom enquiries.
This is according to new research from Dealerweb, which found that finance penetration rose from 79% to 80% for new vehicles year-on-year, and 44% to 47% for used.
Despite showroom enquiries for new vehicles dropping by 11% in March, overall revenues from used sales only fell 2.6%. Dealers were able to increase sales activity with a 5.7% increase in outbound sales calls for new sales, Dealerweb found.
Revenues for used cars increased 8.3% when compared with March 2018, despite the number of enquiries dropping 2.6%.
“A recent survey showed consumer sentiment in Britain fell to its lowest point in more than five years in March,” said Martin Hill. “It is clear that automotive retail is not immune to these headwinds, but dealers are reacting with structured sales programmes to minimise the impact.
Hill is referring to a European Commission survey of EU business and consumer confidence, which revealed that consumer sentiment in Britain dropped to -11.7 points in March – the lowest reading since November 2013.
Hill continued: “Used sales continue to provide a valued and robust revenue stream for dealers with revenues rising in March, in a tough market. Finance penetration continues to rise for used sales and provides a strong revenue opportunity as this market continues to evolve.”
In December last year, Dealerweb announced it would be moving its headquarters and increasing employee numbers by 50%.
At the time, Hill said: “The business has had a fantastic year of sales growth and innovation success. It means that as the company continues to grow and increase its sector presence, so too does our team and we’ll be looking to fill some exciting new positions over the next 12 months.”