News release

Contact:
Serj Heera
PR Manager, Business Information & Automotive
+44 (0) 115 992 2773
serjeet.heera@uk.experian.com

Used car sales fall year-on-year, but recent upturn hints at possible recovery
Popularity of MPV and sports segments drives resilience

Nottingham, UK, 3 July 2009 – Experian®, the global information services company, today published used car sales statistics in the UK for the period 1 January – 31 March (Q1) 2009. The analysis shows that, although used car sales were 5 percent lower than in Q1 2008, sales were up 17 percent on the previous quarter (1 October – 31 December (Q4) 2008). This represents the largest Q4 to Q1 increase since 2003/04.

Q1 sales of multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) shot up by 40 percent compared with the previous quarter, with newer models the most popular. Sales of MPVs under three years old were up 50 percent on Q4 2008. MPVs were the only segment to see a year-on-year increase in sales, up 15 percent on Q1 2008.

While sales of all other segments fell year-on-year, the biggest decline was in the used mini segment (down 13 percent). The smallest decline came from the used sports segments, which were down less than one percent. This segment saw the second largest Q4 2008 to Q1 2009 increase – up 25 percent.

All makes, saw significant increases from Q4 2008 to Q1 2009, with the biggest increases coming from Citroen, Renault and Nissan.   However, year-on-year, used cars from all manufacturers saw their sales fall.  After Rover, Fiat saw the highest decline in used car sales (down 10 percent). Meanwhile, sales of used Volkswagon cars held up the best - down by less than one percent. 

Kirk Fletcher, Managing Director of Experian’s Business Information and Automotive businesses, comments: “This is the clearest indication so far that consumers are slowly beginning to spend again in the used car market and it also reflects the anecdotal feedback we are getting from dealers. The increase in sales on Q4 2008, led by MPVs, is a positive development, and whilst year-on-year sales were down, the decline was not as severe as many in the industry had been expecting.

“There have been high number of new MPVs launched over the last few years, including the Ford C Max and S Max, Mercedes-Benz B and R classes and Toyota’s Verso range, and this innovation is helping to drive the popularity of this type of vehicle.  The increasing number of diesel engine options in the sports segment may be one of reasons for that segment’s success.”

Segment

Q1 2008

Q4 2008

Q1 2009

% Chg Q108-Q109

% Chg Q408-Q109

SUV/4x4

115,903

99,454

112,408

-3.02

13.03

Executive

86,922

72,539

80,367

-7.54

10.79

Lower Medium

546,809

434,926

515,809

-5.67

18.60

Luxury

12,125

10,589

11,285

-6.93

6.57

MPV

83,230

68,513

95,986

15.33

40.10

Mini

29,375

23,556

25,497

-13.20

8.24

Sports

62,574

49,921

62,344

-0.37

24.89

Supermini

558,687

448,206

534,941

-4.25

19.35

Upper Medium

368,616

301,872

347,925

-5.61

15.26

Unspecified

52,261

41,202

27,026

-48.29

-34.41

Total

1,916,502

1,550,778

1,813,588

-5.37

16.95

Source: Experian’s MarketView Online and DVLA

Make

Q1 2008

Q4 2008

Q1 2009

% Chg Q108-Q109

% Chg Q408-Q109

BMW

80,594

68,380

78,207

-2.96

14.37

Citroen

71,270

55,703

68,271

-4.21

22.56

Fiat

66,741

51,469

59,987

-10.12

16.55

Ford

302,939

236,472

281,730

-7.00

19.14

Honda

52,538

44,262

52,125

-0.79

17.76

Mercedes-Benz

52,399

44,768

50,226

-4.15

12.19

Nissan

73,927

58,178

70,093

-5.19

20.48

Peugeot

145,910

115,214

138,524

-5.06

20.23

Renault

134,692

102,905

123,092

-8.61

19.62

Rover

85,543

62,238

53,527

-37.43

-14.00

Toyota

70,401

55,885

66,153

-6.03

18.37

Vauxhall

263,900

217,742

252,030

-4.50

15.75

Volkswagen

128,091

109,218

127,618

-0.37

16.85

Others

387,557

328,344

392,005

1.15

19.39

Total

1,916,502

1,550,778

1,813,588

-5.37

16.95

Source: Experian’s MarketView Online and DVLA

Fuel Type

Q1 2008

Q4 2008

Q1 2009

% Chg Q108-Q109

% Chg Q408-Q109

Petrol

1,440,662

1,146,233

1,321,634

-8.26

15.30

Diesel

470,590

400,128

486,657

3.41

21.63

Electric

196

285

345

76.02

21.05

Hybrid

1,697

1,336

1,736

2.30

29.94

Unspecified

3,357

2,796

3,216

-4.20

15.02

Total

1,916,502

1,550,778

1,813,588

-5.37

16.95

Source: Experian’s MarketView Online and DVLA

Age

Q1 2008

Q4 2008

Q1 2009

% Chg Q108-Q109

% Chg Q408-Q109

0-3 Years

445,755

326,384

417,047

-6.44

27.78

3-6 Years

448,575

359,895

410,836

-8.41

14.15

6-9 Years

389,660

329,122

378,154

-2.95

14.90

9 Years Plus

632,512

535,377

607,551

-3.95

13.48

Total

1,916,502

1,550,778

1,813,588

-5.37

16.95

Source: Experian’s MarketView Online and DVLA

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