There are signs that new and younger drivers are increasingly choosing to learn and drive an automatic car. In 2017/18, 163,790 driving tests were conducted in automatics. By 2022/23 this figure had doubled (up 98%) to 324,064. AA Driving School's data shows that in January 2022, 86% of its franchisees were teaching in manual cars and 14% in automatics. As of July 2023, the number of instructors using manual cars decreased to 81% and those teaching in automatics increased to 19%.
While August is typically a quieter month with many buyers choosing to wait until the September numberplate change, an increase of 16,799 units means the sector is now entering a second year of growth. Despite this improved performance, the market still remains 7.5% below pre-pandemic levels.
This was the best July performance since 2020, when pent-up demand for new cars was unleashed following three months of lockdown during the pandemic. Despite this continuous growth, however, the overall market year to date remains behind pre-pandemic levels.
New vehicle upply is holding up well, with a 10% increase in UK car production in April and robust demand helping this additional output translate into higher sales, but despite 10 consecutive months of growth, registrations remain 21.0% below pre-pandemic 2019 levels.
Registrations rose across all sales types, with deliveries to private buyers up by 1.4%, and those to businesses with fleets of fewer than 25 vehicles up 26.0%. Large fleets, however, were the predominant drivers of March’s growth, with registrations rising by 40,651 units, a 40.9% increase to take an overall 48.6% market share.
A fifth (22%) of drivers still plan to buy a car this year, the same proportion as in 2022, despite the tightening of purse strings but the number looking to purchase an electric vehicle (EV) has fallen from a quarter of drivers in 2022 - when fuel prices spiked to record highs - to fewer than a fifth (18%) in 2023 as electricity prices continue to rise.
THE AA’s used car website, AA Cars, has partnered with Chartered Trading Standards Institute on its dealer product, AA Cars Standards, to help dealers provide more trust and assurance to their customers. The Institute has approved the AA Cars Standards, a series of pledges dealers make to their customers which form the foundation of gold standard customer service, underpinned by [...]
Prices for the top 20 most searched-for cars on the AA Cars platform rose by just 0.2% in Q4 on an annual basis, compared to a 9.2% increase in the previous quarter. The average price of the top 20 most searched-for cars on the AA Cars site was £16,358 in the final quarter of 2022, compared to £16,319 during the same three-month period in 2021.
Some 1,785,447 vehicles changed hands, the first time that quarter three transactions have dipped below two million since 2015, as semiconductor shortages impacted supply of stock. In the year to date, sales are now down -9.7% to 5,319,482.