1) EVs are more popular than ever

Research conducted exclusively for AutoFocus by eBay Motors Groups identified significant changes in buyer attitudes to fuel type since March 2020. In total, it was revealed that one-fifth of car buyers (21%) plan to purchase an EV as their next car; this number rises to 49% when you add those who plan to purchase either an EV or hybrid. Petrol (-14%) and diesel (-1%) both saw decreases.

2) Material shortages continue

The much-publicised global shortage of semiconductors and other materials such as aluminium and magnesium continue to impact new car production and sales. October saw a total of 106,265 UK new car registrations, down -24.6% on the previous year, but pleasingly, total year-to-date registrations have increased modestly to 1,422,879, up +2.8% year-on-year – a clear sign of the industry’s ability to adapt in the face of adversity.

3) Used car prices are at record levels

Driven by a shortage of vehicles, used car prices have risen for eight consecutive months in 2021, to record levels. In the 3-year/60k bracket, cars now cost +27.5% more than they did at the start of the year. This has impacted not just retail prices, but also wholesale, where the latest Manheim data reveals steep prices rises as buyers compete for available stock. The biggest increases are seen in the 0 to 2-year bracket, where supply and demand imbalances have been felt the most.

4) The environment is front of mind for consumers

In the consumer research carried out by eBay Motors Group, it was revealed that 75% of buyers who claim they will buy a hybrid or EV as their next vehicle are mainly doing so to either reduce their carbon footprint or their emissions. The results indicated that that the reduction of their carbon footprint was the most compelling reason for buyers regardless of age or gender.

5) Q1 2022 forecasts

The latest Cox Automotive forecasts for Q1 2022 were revealed in AutoFocus. In the new car market, the mid-case scenario predicts the quarter will end on 506,804 transactions, a +19.1% increase year-on-year, but -23.7% down compared to the 2000-2019 average. The used car market is forecast for 1.903 million sales, a +12.8% increase year-on-year, and +1.3% up on the 2001-2019 average.


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