Should you be discounting your stock during lockdown?

The used car and van markets are currently in the most unusual position that any of us have seen in our lifetimes. It’s easy to draw the conclusion that there is effectively no demand in the market, so prices must be falling. But is that true?

What is actually occurring is much less dramatic. While showrooms may be shut, many dealerships are still very much open for business online (potentially) and, according to new guidance from the government, can even deliver a vehicle to you if sensible precautions are taken. Sales may not be high but, to an extent, the market is still functioning.

It’s interesting to look at this chart from retail pricing experts Cazana*, which looks at pricing for a seven day period in late April compared to the corresponding week in 2019.

Their analysis states: “It is encouraging to note that while the overall market movement last year across all fuel types showed an average increase of 0.33%, the 2020 average figure is an increase of 0.05%. Given the circumstances, this is entirely acceptable if perhaps surprising to some.

“Retail pricing is still moving and it is vital to remember that while actual sales are largely paused there are still transactions happening and some competition in the market with pricing moving both up and down.”

All of this underlines the need, we believe, to watch the market as usual, maximise the opportunities that are available during lockdown and have plans in place ready for when the situation starts to ease.


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