Used car availability improves as more stock released to market

Electric car charging

Electric car charging - Credit: Robert Nickelsberg Getty Images

New car supply remains at a slow pace as the shortage of semi-conductors continues and some manufacturers are warning this will last throughout 2022. Customers are still ordering with many not expecting to see their new car for several months. However, more used cars are coming to the market as some large businesses are releasing stocks prior to the year end. Sales to the trade have been held back as prices increased and dealers have been purchasing selectively waiting for prices to fall. Now with the traditional slowing of sales in the December period, while shoppers concentrate on Christmas, and some outstanding deliveries coming through there is some improvement as dealers prepare for the new year.

January is a favourite time for dealers to balance their used car stocks in preparation for the largest month of the year, March, when the new 22 plate is due. Although stocks are well below normal levels expect to see some sale offers to entice buyers back into the market and start the year off on a positive note.

New car orders have not slowed down in spite of the long delivery times as many customers realise price rises will occur in 2022 and the value of their part-exchange is at record levels. Manufacturers are being selective and many fleets are waiting for supply and discounts to return to normal levels.

Businesses are also experiencing a change in demand from their employees, as incentives to purchase electric vehicles by way of low benefit-in-kind charges takes effect.

There are now over 100 electric car models in the market and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is pushing the Government to improve not only the number of chargers but the maintenance and availability of those already out there.

Too often drivers expecting to charge their vehicle are finding too many charging stations out of order, already in use, or in some cases used as a parking bay by selfish petrol or diesel- powered bigger vehicles.

There is also the need for more fast chargers where customers can get a quick top-up to reach their destination in as little as twenty minutes. These multi- choice stations are in the big cities but more are needed in motorway service areas, shopping centres and supermarkets in rural areas. 

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In spite of these problems electric powered vehicle sales continue to grow and will be a major contributor to meeting the Government’s net zero objective, providing the infrastructure is in place. 

Finally, give a cheer to Lewis Hamilton who will attempt to win the last Formula 1 race of the season in Abu Dhabi to set an all-time record for the number of Championships won. 

Keep smiling and stay safe. I look forward to next week.