Used car sales rise is now stuttering with lack of supply

The Astra assembly line at Vauxhall's plant in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

The Astra assembly line at Vauxhall's plant in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. Car production 'plummeted' last month amid ongoing staff shortages because of the 'pingdemic' and the global shortage of microchips, research shows. - Credit: PA

The UK’s used car sales increased by 6.6 per cent over 2019 pre-pandemic levels at the same time as new car sales fell as a result of the semi-conductor shortage.

More manufacturers admitted to problems and several are shutting factories and delaying production forecasts.

Toyota will cut worldwide production by 40 per cent until the end of 2021 and Renault, Jaguar, Ford and Stellantis - Peugeot, Citroen, Vauxhall, Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Jeep - all warned of delays.

Vans continue to be effected and orders placed now are unlikely to be delivered until 2022 unless you can pick up a cancelled order. 

The question is how long can used car sales continue to meet increased demand as the largest source is from sales of new vehicles?

Prices are at high levels and there seems no likelihood of any drop as dealers and members of the public compete for a reduced number of cars at the auctions.  

There are some new car stocks available for the new 71 plate this month and there will be a number of deliveries where customers have held off for this but far from enough to record the high number expected as life attempts to return to some form of normality.

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If you want to dispose of your car or simply change it for a new one, take advantage now as the price for your part-exchange will never be better in my opinion.

There have also been some challenges to our new freedom and has not been helped by the rise of Covid cases in Devon and Cornwall to worrying levels, as holidaymakers flock to the area and festivals return with no limits on numbers.

Around 50,000 visitors to the Boardmasters Festival at Newquay resulted in a record number of cases throughout Cornwall and many businesses have been affected by staff shortages.

This has put additional pressure on the regions hospitals resulting in the postponement of appointments and long and lengthy queues at emergency departments.

The South West Ambulance service said it was responding to 3,000 emergencies per day, 15 per cent more than the same time last year.

This week, I had the honour and pleasure to handover to this service the 100th new Fiat Ambulance supplied by Vospers over the last 12 months.

I was aware, of course, of the amazing job this team and the whole of the NHS has done to look after us in this unprecedented period but the enthusiasm, devotion and commitment to the task was added to by a cheerful and positive attitude.

They deserve to feel very proud and we should all be prepared to contribute more to our National Health Service to both reward those already involved and to attract new recruits.

We need to reduce the backlog of outstanding cases and while appreciating efficiencies and cost savings must continually be improved, Government must provide the funding necessary in the future.

With more visitors due in September and beyond please take care, stay safe and keep smiling. I look forward to next week.