1) Continuing trends

Manheim results for September highlight the continuing supply and demand imbalance that’s driving current wholesale performance. As a result, average first-time conversions were above 90%, increasing by 8% on the same period in 2020, which took place during a pandemic-fuelled pent-up demand period. Meanwhile, average used car mileage and age remain above normal levels as retailers review stock profiles.

2) Prices keep rising

The ongoing new car market disruption continues to impact used car market dynamics at auction. Used car values continued to rise in September across Manheim's auctions, with the average sale price increasing by 9.8% or £639 month-on-month, to £7,152. Supply and demand continue to drive up the wholesale key indicators, as desirable younger, low mileage, and better condition wholesale vehicles continued to be lacking in supply. As a result, CAP clean values increased again, achieving over 103%.

3) Top 10 wholesale vehicles

Illustrating changing stocking profiles, data from Dealer Auction, the UK's largest digital wholesale marketplace revealed its best-selling vehicles in September. The full list included the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Vauxhall Corsa, Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Astra, Nissan Qashqai, BMW 3 Series, Honda Jazz, Mini Hatch and Toyota Yaris.

4) Poor new car sales

The worst September plate change since 1998 has laid bare the challenges in the new car market. According to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 246,737 new cars were sold in the UK, a -34.4% drop on the results from September 2020 – when the effects of the pandemic were also affecting the new car industry. The sales figures also represent a -44.7% decline on the pre-pandemic ten-year average for September.

5) Positive EV news

In contrast to the overall results, there was better news from the SMMT's data in the number of battery electric vehicles (BEV) sold last month. The number of new BEVs registered in September increased by 32,721, the best-ever monthly performance for the fuel type and falling just 5,000 short of the total number of BEVs registered in the whole of 2019. In total, one in five new cars registered in September was zero-emissions capable.


Read the latest Cox Automotive Market Tracker in full by clicking here.