May 232008

New and Used CarsA dramatic shift in buying trends in the UK’s new and used car markets is predicted in the latest survey from Motorpoint, the UK’s leading car supermarket group, with more than two thirds of car buyers saying they will be downsizing with their next purchase.

Industry watchers have been highlighting a surge in both new and used supermini and compact MPV sales over the last twelve months. But even the highest recorded small car sales figures have not broken the 30% market share barrier.

The reason given for the shift by respondents to the Motorpoint survey is to save on running costs. But that consideration takes in more than just the soaring price of fuel. Another benefit is slower depreciation, which will improve even further as demand increases. And owners of cars with lower carbon emissions will save money on road tax too.

Motorpoint managing director David Shelton said: “These figures show a potentially massive shift of over two thirds of the motoring population – about 20 million people – into smaller vehicles. Our stock buying capability is already sufficiently flexible to cope with the increased demand for smaller cars that we are seeing from our customers right now. It’s clear that the benefits of a smaller car are becoming more important as a whole range of economic and environmental considerations start to bite.

Of course, our pricing policy means that we are still passing on an average saving of around £5,000 per car compared with the recommended retail prices on franchised dealer forecourts. That sort of saving will go a long way to offsetting at least some of the mounting cost pressures on motorists.“