Cazana: driving vehicle manufacturers towards a mobility services future

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Cazana’s Rustmap – rusty cars and where to find them

Over the last 6 months, there has been an array of bad weather conditions including one hurricane (Ophelia) and 21 storms in the UK including the more notable ones such as Storm Brian, Storm Georgina and Storm Aileen. All of this rainfall and harsh weather takes an unfortunate toll on our vehicles.

With this in mind, we have searched the extensive Cazana database and highlighted the counties in the UK that have the highest proportion of rusty cars, and identified which are the most rust prone. This was identified by looking at the volume of cars that have rust and corrosion warnings noted on MOT data.

It will come as no surprise that 5 of the rustiest counties for car owners in the UK are situated in Scotland where the weather conditions can often be harsher.

Top 10 rustiest counties in the UK for car owners

Here you have it, the worst offending counties for rusty cars.

Another unsurprising fact is that the top 3 counties with the highest proportion of rusty cars are close to the sea. While living close to the ocean may look stunning and have so many wonderful perks, unfortunately, it can be a tougher environment for cars. Certain environmental factors such as salt and fog near the coast can cause rust on a vehicle and accelerate vehicle corrosion.

  1. West Dunbartonshire, Scotland
  2. Fife, Scotland
  3. Northumberland, North East England
  4. Roxburghshire, Scotland
  5. Banffshire, Scotland
  6. Midlothian, Scotland
  7. Herefordshire, West Midlands
  8. Durham, Central England
  9. Lincolnshire, Central England
  10. Yorkshire, Northern England

Other counties that are high on the list include Lanarkshire, West Lothian, Angus and Flintshire. There is a clear pattern of either being close to the sea and somewhere where the weather conditions are tougher.

The counties with the lowest proportion of rusty cars

So in contrast to the list above, the counties with the lowest volume of rusty cars are mostly in the south and Wales.

  1. Antrim, Northern Ireland
  2. Middlesex, South East England
  3. Hampshire, South England
  4. Oxfordshire, South East England
  5. Surrey, South East England
  6. Denbighshire, North East Wales
  7. Kent, South East England
  8. Caernarfonshire, Wales

The top 10 rustiest cars in the UK

It’s surprising to see the nations favourite Ford Fiesta on here and not only that but it is top of the list. With so many on our roads and often older it is possible that they are also less well cared for. Land Rover and Jeep, however, are not as surprising to see on this list as they are often used heavily in off-road conditions where water and dirt are commonplace.

  1. Ford Fiesta
  2. Vauxhall Corsa
  3. Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  4. Ford StreetKa
  5. Toyota Rav-4
  6. Jeep Wrangler
  7. Volkswagen Polo Hatch
  8. MINI Hatchback
  9.  Ford Ka
  10. Fiat Grande Punto

What are the main causes of rust in vehicles?

rusty car in the sea

Rust is the reddish-brown/yellow colour that coats iron or steel when exposed to air and moisture. Our vehicles can be a big investment and financial commitment and to ensure we protect them we need to first understand what the main causes of rust are.

  • Location  

As fun as living near the coast is, as we mentioned above, it can take a toll on your car. Both the salt and moisture (water) in the air can cause vehicles to rust. Therefore it is no surprise that 6 out of the top 10 rustiest counties in this list are close to the sea.

  • Salt

Most road users in colder places will use salt to get rid of ice and snow from their vehicles and it is also used extensively to keep the roads clear. However, lengthy exposure to salt can be harmful to vehicles and make them more susceptible to corrosion as it gets caught in the nooks and crannies of the car.

  • Weather conditions

As we already mentioned water and moisture is a big cause of rust on and in cars. Rain, snow and fog are big factors in why our cars rust and corrode over time.

  • Neglect

Like anything in life if we ignore a bad situation it will eventually get worse. Not checking your car regularly and not keeping up with maintenance and more important cleanliness will cause minor instances of rust to flourish and turn into more serious issues.

Top 6 ways to prevent rust in vehicles

prevent rust in vehicles

  1. Regular maintenance. This may sound obvious but keep up with regular repairs as it can make all the difference when something is caught early.
  2. Inspect your car regularly and act on what you find covering body scratches and dings as quickly as possible
  3. Wash your car regularly. Make sure wheel arches and the underbody are regularly cleaned.
  4. Keep your car in a sheltered area. If you are lucky enough to have a garage or sheltered area to park make sure you use it to help protect your car from harsh weather conditions. If you don’t have a sheltered place to park then consider getting a car cover.
  5. Wax. Get your vehicle waxed twice a year (especially if you live near the seaside) and consider having a body protection treatment added.  
  6. Keep the inside of your car clean too. Don’t just wash the outside of the car, keep the interiors clean as well especially during Winter when there is more salt on the roads.

Cazana Monthly Pricing Insight for September 2020


Under normal circumstances, September would be a month of celebration and investigation for the industry as a whole with new car registrations taking priority over the used car business within retailers nationwide. However, 2020 has been a unique year so far and this time September has been a month fighting to sustain the recovery that started in June when the retailer doors opened for business once again. After several months of hard-fought new car business and impressive used car sales the new car market posted a dip of 4.4% over the previous year which for many came as something of a surprise given the positive start at the beginning of the month and this performance has left the year to date registration total 33.2% behind activity in 2019.

Amidst the plethora of incentives for new cars lay the aftermath of the suspension of new car production earlier in the year. Availability issues for certain products, specifically in the VAG and Ford ranges, meant that certain key models were hard to find whilst at the same time preparations for the finalisation of RDE2 legislation and CAFE targets resulted in some models being offered at very appealing prices. However, as the month progressed, so did the level of registrations with the Fleet sector finishing on a notable 5.8% down on 2019 and the private car sector a more respectable 1.1% lower.

Meanwhile in the used car market, performance was a lot better and the strong demand from the used car buyer continued to bring positive news to the retailers who were able to focus on used car sales better than in the same period in previous years. Despite the challenges, still evident in the logistics supply chain, used cars were still finding their way to the forecourts to satisfy demand and pricing remained firm on the face of it.

Looking in more detail and the chart below compares retail pricing as a percentage of cost new by age and mileage profile against two previous years.

Full Retail Market Pricing Performance as a % of Original Cost New Compared Against 2 Previous Years

Data powered by Cazana

This chart gives a high-level view of retail pricing performance during the month of September in comparison to the previous two years split by age and mileage profile. It is immediately clear that across all profiles retail pricing was higher than it has been for some time. The grey bars highlight an increase as an overall percentage of original cost new with a 3-percentage point increase for 1 and 2 year old cars being exceeded by 3 year old cars that experienced a 4-percentage point increase over performance in 2019. This is a direct reflection of consumer demand and post lockdown stock shortages.

A high-level view is interesting but detail brings a clearer picture of pricing performance and the chart below highlights pricing movements across the month by Price Range.

Whole Market Retail Price Movement During September 2020 Compared Against 2019

Data powered by Cazana

This chart highlights the retail pricing performance of the whole market split by price range and reveals the context behind the overall monthly drop in pricing of -0.26% this year. As a comparison, the 2019 data is also shown and despite the fact that this year recorded a mild drop it is important to note that in the same period last year retail pricing declined by 0.93%.

Of note are the price ranges that recorded the largest decline in average retail pricing and this is led by the sub £10k bracket where there has been so much consumer demand in recent months. This can mean one of two things with the first being that the profile of the vehicle in this part of the market has changed and there are cheaper cars available. However, the background detail reveals this is not the case. The other alternative is that consumer demand for cars in this price bracket has resulted in the need to reduce pricing which would seem to be the case. This perhaps reflects a shift in the market and the fact that those people that had been looking for cost effective transport solutions to keep them away from public transport have now been satisfied.

In addition, there has been a marked decline of 1.83% in retail pricing in the £30k to £40k price range and the reasons for this are less clear although more granular analysis would give a clear insight into the reasons behind this shift. Conversely, the positive performance in pricing in the £10k to £20k price range that represents just over 44% of the overall market share, has helped keep the total market average decline lower than it could have been.

In summary, September 2020 has been an interesting month that has seen more challenges than originally anticipated. The new car registration performance was surprisingly poor, but the used car market continued to please the accountants and bring more much-needed relief to the finances. However, as predicted by Cazana some months ago it is important to highlight that as the month drew to a close there was a definite shift in the volume of retail customers. Digital media campaigns began to return fewer enquiries and footfall on the used car pitches slightly declined. In addition, as also predicted by Cazana some months ago, the volume of cars in the wholesale market began to increase and the recovery of the logistics sector meant easier vehicle movement and thus the supply of used cars increased. The result has been more choice for the consumer, an increase in the volatility in retail pricing and the settling of the often wild wholesale pricing swings subjectively reported by some traditional data providers

October will be an interesting period and the need for reliable fact-based unedited insight will be of paramount importance. With furlough coming to an end and a further national lockdown a possibility, what is certain is that understanding market trends and nuances will be the key to ensuring that commercial strategy is developed to suit the changing market. The need to be flexible and responsive in operational structure, pricing and stocking will be critical in the coming weeks and using retail driven realtime insight is an excellent way of ensuring funders, retailers and remarketers are fully aware of fact-based retail pricing trends in order to facilitate enhanced financial return.



Cazana Weekly Retail Price Watch

The last week has proven to be a steady one with retail buyer interest remaining constant across the market as whole. Although enquiry levels are slightly lower than of late, they appear to have stabilised in the previous week which is good news following a period of decline probably induced by the typically quieter holiday season. It is also becoming clearer that whilst the Mouse to House option is important and keeps some buyers in market, the consumers actually prefer coming to the used car pitches. Procedures set up to stem the spread of the coronavirus at the beginning of June have now been accepted as the “normal” way to buy a car and the retail buyer seems to like the often shorter sales process that is driven by the need to make an appointment to be able to see the sales team. This is partially due to the fact there is less time to actually argue the price as much as anything, but the continued shortage of used cars has helped perpetuate the position.

Retail pricing activity has remained reasonably steady across the market as a whole as the supply of used vehicles has continued to improve. This has been as much about the logistics chain becoming more accustomed to new operational routines as it has about the number of vehicles being de-fleeted by the major vendors. In addition, the supply of part exchanges has also improved as used car sales continue to improve and the result has been that dealer forecourts are becoming better stocked offering retail buyers more choice of cars. As such the overall weekly retail price movement has seen a decline of -0.19% which has been adversely affected by activity in one key age profile.

The chart below looks at what has happened to retail pricing by market profile comparing last week against the previous week.

Data powered by Cazana

The chart shows that retail pricing has moved upwards in 6 of the key profiles and down in 3 with the largest move coming in the Pre Reg profile. This is interesting as at almost 2% this is quite a large move in comparison with recent weeks, although the dip in pricing for this profile appears to be consistent over time. There are two possible reasons for this, the first being that the average price is dropping because of the type of cars entering the profile. If focus has been on the pre-registration of cheaper cars, then this would account for the drop in average retail price. Given that Renault showed a significant increase in registrations during the month of July this could be the explanation. Secondly, it could mean that demand is dropping perhaps due to the level of supply of both new and pre-registered cars in the market and hence pricing has become more competitive. This is due to the increase in market share for the Pre Reg profile which has increased by 0.48% over the previous week and it must be noted that this is the largest change in market profile share across all profiles.

On a more positive note, it would seem that all cars over the age of 4 years old, and those 3-year old cars from the fleet market, have increased in price. This means that demand for second or commuter cars appears to still be strong. The chart also shows that market share for Older Part Exchange cars and Old cars has dropped and this signifies a good level of sales activity, depleting stock levels and the resulting retail adverts in market.

It is notable that if the drop in Pre Reg pricing is excluded then the whole market retail price movement saw an uplift of 0.26%. However, it is also important to note that Electric and Hybrid powered cars is still volatile, particularly for older variants.

The chart below looks at how retail pricing has changed from a price range perspective and adds some context to the moves seen in the first chart.

Data powered by Cazana

This chart brings some added insight to the overall retail market pricing position and from an immediate glance it is clear that retail prices increased in 5 of the 7 price ranges. The largest uplift in pricing shown by the blue bars indicates that sub £10k cars increased by 0.59% which equates to an increase of £41 per car. This supports the data from the first chart showing that cars over 7 years in age increased in price. It is also interesting to see that the volume of market share declined by 0.67% over the previous week, highlighting demand and suggesting that there may be less wholesale stock available to replace the sold units.

There are 2 price ranges that showed a drop in price, the first being cars between £20k and £30k and the second, between £70k and £90k. The latter price range accounts for just 0.31% of the total retail advertising market, as highlighted by the orange line and by the nature of the cars in this profile, the pricing can be volatile. Of more significance is the drop in price for cars priced between £20k and £30k as this profile represents 14.18% of the total market. Combined with the data in the first chart this suggests it is probable that Pre Reg cars in this price range have been the driver behind the Pre Reg retail price drop.

The largest market share is held by cars in the £10k to £20k price range at 43.95% of the total market. This price range profile recorded an increase of 0.19% on average where the average price is £15,190 and this is positive news.

To summarise, retail pricing has increased overall during the last week with the uplift suppressed by the activity recorded in the Pre Reg profile. The importance of looking at the data in more detail cannot be emphasized highly enough as this is the only way to understand exactly what is happening in the market on a day by day basis. This is the most effective way to identify the best opportunities to maximise on profit and ROI whether a retailer or a vendor. Fact based, unedited data is the key to modern auto retailing and remarketing and only Cazana provides the data to give this critical insight.


Cazana Weekly Retail Price Watch

The month of August is always a little variable and this year shows August is once again proving to be no exception as the volume of retail consumers appears to have dipped slightly in the last two weeks. Although there is no need for major concern, there are fewer buyers around on the pitches although the online engagement appears to roughly similar to recent levels of activity and sales levels appear to be consistent with genuine buyers still keen to find a new car. Despite a negative shift in the weather in the last week and further restrictions on international travel, it is clear that a number of people are taking their summer holidays whilst they can, perhaps in fear of further lockdown restrictions in the coming weeks and months as COVID infections show signs of further increases both home and abroad. The propensity of the public to forget social distancing rules and guidelines will determine whether the virus will make a comeback in the coming weeks.

Retail pricing activity in the last week has taken a further step towards becoming more volatile and the number of outlier moves has increased once again. This is likely due to the fact that there is a greater choice of used cars coming to the retail market and as such new and sometimes very different price points appear that can if taken out of context suggest significant market swings. Taking an overall view, retail prices moved downwards by -0.14% but as Cazana customers know, analysis of the detail is essential to identify where the market opportunities and threats can be found and the realtime element of the data gives an edge in todays competitive market.

The chart below looks at what has happened to retail pricing by market profile comparing last week against the previous week.

Whole Market Price Change as a % by Market Sector Profile W/c - 03/08 against W/c - 10/08

Data powered by Cazana

Looking at the high-level movements in this chart shows some important trends that highlight activity in the market. It is key to note that there are vehicle profiles that performing better than others and in the last week from a retail pricing perspective the trend for older car pricing to increase has continued. The increase of 1.08% and 1.56% for vehicles over 7 years old represents an upward shift of around £100 per car. This sector is still enjoying good retail consumer demand as people look for commuter vehicles or 2nd and 3rd cars to keep them mobile and off public transport.

Where 5 vehicle profiles showed an uplift in pricing there were also 4 profiles that recorded a drop in pricing. At -1.02% the Ex Fleet Old profile showed the largest decline. This drop is perhaps indicative of two key factors. Firstly, businesses have held cars on fleets for a little longer due to the lockdown period. As such the age profile has shifted and secondly some of these cars have still been in use and as such mileages are higher than would have normally been anticipated. It is also worth considering that from a condition perspective these vehicles may not be quite as good as the market would have ordinarily expected and in some cases due to stock shortages forecourt condition and appearance has been sacrificed in a bid to turn stock quickly hence pricing may have dropped.

Looking at the grey bars in the above chart shows how the profile of retail adverts on sale has changed in relation to the previous week. During this period this has been more stable with the largest movement reflected as a drop for the Late and Low profile. This is interesting as with a lower representation in the market it would suggest that there might be a greater level of demand and therefore pricing may have increased, although the blue bar confirms a price drop of -0.57% for this profile.

The chart below looks at how retail pricing has changed from a price range perspective and adds some context to the moves seen in the first chart.

Whole Market Data - Retail Price Movements and Market Share by Price Range as a % - W/c - 03/08 against W/c 10/08

Data powered by Cazana

Looking at the results in this chart and it is clear where the high-level hot spots are and firstly it is encouraging to note that pricing for the sub £10k car has moved upwards corroborating the movement seen in the first chart. However, it is also interesting to note that the pricing moves are lower than identified when looking at data split by vehicle profile and this can often be the case when slicing insight differently. Deeper more granular analysis shows why this has happened and spotlights key insight that can be lost at a higher level. There are just 3 price ranges that show up uplift in retail pricing and 4 showing downward retail price moves.

It is important to understand that retail pricing interrogated in this manner shows a far smaller delta between the high and low movers. With that in mind it is worth noting that this chart looks at cars up to £90k in price and as already established the high end of the market can be extremely volatile particularly when taking fuel type into account. The variation in pricing for Hybrid and Electric vehicles across the market is one element that has had a marked impact on some of the results over the past 2 weeks and it will be interesting to see whether this position settles at all.

In conclusion retail pricing in the last week has continued to keep retailers and remarketers on their toes to ensure that they are making the very best margin and ROI respectively. The latter relies on understanding what is happening with the retail pricing on any given day and using the largest market insight available can be the only logical way to appreciate what is happening in the market. The last week period has seen a minimal impact on pricing from a reduced number of retail buyers and in all probability,  it is a position that will continue for a couple of weeks during the traditionally quieter holiday season. What is important is to ensure that stability remains constant and there is no dash to adjust pricing, although given the relative shortage of replacement stock this is an unlikely outcome.

Cazana Weekly Retail Price Watch

The first week of August saw a marginal shift in the retail market with footfall at the retailers and online enquiries slightly down on the levels of recent weeks. Firstly, this is hardly surprising given it is the holiday season and secondly the improvement in the weather, that looks set to continue throughout the month, has given consumers the incentive to spend a little time on holiday rather than staying at home. The retail price shift across the market as a whole was a decline of -0.13% in the average price of a retail advertised car. That represents a drop of just £22 per unit where the average price of a car across the whole market is now £17,303.

Whilst this drop-in price is hardly noticeable in some people eyes, across a retailer group this dip would have made a costly difference. This should also serve as a market yardstick and one that should be watched closely going forward to avoid financial challenges as the market shifts as is expected later in the year. It is also worth noting that whilst analysing the data it is clear that there is a much higher level of pricing volatility. The propensity for certain fuel types within different market sectors to show big pricing swings from one week to the next is another indicator that the coming weeks might be a little more challenging than of late.

The chart below looks at what has happened to retail pricing by market profile comparing last week against the previous week.

Whole Market Price Change as a % by Market Sector Profile W/c - 27/07 against W/c - 03/08

Data powered by Cazana

This chart gives clarity to where pricing increased and decreased in the last week. The blue bars show the week on week shift in retail pricing as a percentage and this shows that retail pricing at opposite ends of the market profiles are on the increase once more, whilst mid profile cars have also shown minimal improvement. It also highlights that pricing for some key profiles has dropped, with the most significant decline being experienced in the Ex Fleet Old profile representing cars of 4 to 6 years in age. The fact that there are four profiles, that show a drop-in pricing indicates that either supply of used cars has improved, or that there is less consumer demand and therefore a need to move screen pricing to attract buyers.

The orange line qualifies the proportion of the market that each profile represents from the whole market advertising data and puts context to the relevance of the rise and fall of the pricing. As such where the Ex Fleet Old pricing has dropped by -1.02% it is clear that this profile represents just 0.7% of all retail asking price data and whilst it is important to acknowledge this drop, the price shift is therefore of less significance than the -0.57% and -0.56% drops experienced in the Late and Low and Part Exchange profiles that account for 34.7% and 33.9% of the total market respectively. This means that it is evident that retail pricing has declined across age profiles that account for just over 76% of the retail advertising market overall.

The grey bars show the change by percentage in the market penetration by profile and adding this to the previous data highlights a further dimension. As such where pricing has decreased for the Late and Low profile, the volume of cars in the market has also declined. Conversely, the drop in the Part Exchange profile pricing actually comes where there is an increase in the number of retail advertised cars. The only way to fully understand the impact of this insight is to look at the data in more detail using the Cazana reporting tools and bespoke insight.

For this period the largest pricing increase by profile came for Old Car profile consisting of cars over 10 years old. The chart below looks at some background to pricing activity by fuel type in the Old car profile to put some context behind where the pricing increase came from.

Retail Price Movements - Old Car Market Profile against Whole Market Market Profile by Fuel Type W/c - 27/07 against W/c - 03/08

Data powered by Cazana

This chart highlights that petrol-powered cars have seen the largest increase in pricing at 3.35% in the Old car profile. This follows the whole market retail price increase of 1.14% and it would seem that for this week petrol-powered cars have gained the most retail price value. It is also of note that Hybrid cars also show a nominal increase in retail price. The “other” fuel type represents the small number of LPG, CNG and Bio Ethanol cars on sale in this profile and the volumes are as expected particularly low.

It must be acknowledged that as mentioned earlier the pricing data has become more volatile and the increase in petrol pricing in the Old Car profile has been heavily influenced by an increase of 9.8% for the small volume of old petrol cars in the luxury car sector. Conversely, the diesel pricing has been adversely affected by a decline of -5.15% for old diesel cars in the sports car sector. There is less volatility in the age profile for Hybrid cars as volumes for this fuel type is also quite low in volume.

To summarise, it would seem that there has been a subtle shift in the market both from a consumer demand and pricing perspective. At this point, there would appear to be little to be concerned about, but it is key to ensure that all market insight is analysed in detail to make sure there is a full understanding of market conditions. This, in turn, will drive the very best margins and ROI. Cazana are the only data provider able to give that up to the moment realtime whole market data-based insight with no manual editing and subjective decisioning overlaid.

Cazana Weekly Retail Price Watch

Used car sales activity in the final week of July largely continued to mirror the level of demand experienced in recent weeks which means that the retailers have enjoyed another period of good trading. There have been some subtle shifts though and these whilst not of concern right now, need to be monitored closely in case the market begins to shift.

The logistics supply chain continues to improve and as such there has been a further increase in the availability of used stock across the wholesale market. This has resulted in a better supply of used car stock which means greater stock levels on the forecourts resulting in a wider choice of cars for the consumer to choose from. Under normal trading conditions this improvement in availability would mean that pricing might soften for certain types of cars although at this point this action seems to be unnecessary and the retailers should be in no rush to take adverse pricing action for the time being.

The retail consumer is still very active which is great news, and this is in part due to a level of renewed consumer confidence but also directly related to the improved level of digital engagement by the retailers. There is little doubt that industry continues to implement new and better ways to attract buyers and the COVID lockdown period has highlighted the need to grab online interest as swiftly as possible and engage the customer in a seamless mouse to house journey.

From a retail pricing perspective, the chart below highlights pricing movements by key age and market profile in the last week compared to the previous week.


Data powered by Cazana

Whilst at first sight this chart is complicated, it is very effective at showing the current state of pricing. The blue bars on the chart show the retail pricing movement as a % change on the previous week. As such it is clear that 3 age profiles have shown a decline in pricing. Late and Low, Ex Fleet and Old Cars have recorded a drop of up to 0.4% and whilst no immediate conclusions should be drawn by this insight, the detail needs to be analysed further to highlight where the issues lie.

It is worth noting that the drop-in pricing for the Late and Low sector and the Old Car profile is the second consecutive weeks downward move. In the case of the Old Car profile a quick look at the data reveals that Old petrol-powered luxury cars experienced a drop-in pricing of just over 8% and this has dragged the sector average down. Excluding these cars would have resulted in an increase in pricing of 0.78% however this just emphasises the importance of realtime retail driven insight.

The orange line represents the percentage share of the retail advertising market held by each age profile. This shows that the greatest volume of retail adverts can be found in the Part Exchange and Late and Low profiles. The grey bars complement this sector qualification by showing the shift as a % week on week in the volume of vehicles advertised. The latest data highlights a marked increase in volume of the number of cars in the part exchange profile. This is interesting as not only has there been an increase in the volume of retail adverts but there has also been an increase in retail pricing. This piece of insight is very valuable right now.

Whilst the largest pricing increase by profile came for Pre Reg-cars off the back of an 11.4% improvement in new car registrations during July the chart below looks at some background to pricing activity by fuel type in the Part Exchange profile to put some context behind where the pricing increase came from.

Retail Price Movements - Part Exchange Market Profile against Whole Market Profile by Fuel Type  W/c - 20/07 against W/c - 27/07

Data powered by Cazana

This chart is very interesting as it highlights the fact that petrol pricing is the only pricing that is moving downwards. Looking at the detail and it is evident that this is happening in several different market sectors within the age profile and it is key that this trend is monitored more closely and on a regular basis. This is not to say that it is wrong to buy this type of car or indeed that there is no market for them but it is just important for retailers to ensure that they are fully aware of what to expect during the time the vehicle is in stock and tailor margin expectations accordingly.

On a positive note the increase in Electric powered car prices is of interest. These vehicles are in low supply at this age, but the pricing increase in this profile highlights that there may be good retail consumer demand. This trend ties in with anecdotal feedback around consumer appetite for lower polluting cars.

In conclusion, the last week has seen good market stability although there are some nuances in the detail behind the headline data. Acknowledging that in the coming weeks consumer demand may alter, and the signs are there already, is vital to use realtime, fact-based insight to tailor commercial plans to match the market conditions. Using retail driven insight will keep buyers and used car managers in control of the buying and pricing functions and ensure that it is possible to drive the very best margin from every car that is bought for retail sale.

At the same time a true understanding of the retail price and consumer demand will mean that part exchange cars and stock not suitable for individual business forecourts can be sold wholesale for the right money. Whilst there are more cars in the trade right now, it is often easy to let an asset go for less than true market value unless there is an understanding of the retail value of the car. Cazana are the only data provider able to give that up to the moment data-based insight with no manual editing and subjective decisioning overlaid.

Cazana Weekly Retail Price Watch

Activity in the UK automotive sector has continued to improve in the last week despite concerns that demand may ease as the restrictions on mobility and socialising were eased by the Prime Minister. Coupled with the start of the summer holiday season and the break-up of the education programme, there had been consternation that consumers may have shifted their focus away from buying cars and towards expenditure on other social activities including day trips and holidays. To date that has not been the case and retail car buyers have continued to seek to renew their mode of transport with as much enthusiasm as they have since showrooms opened again on June 1st.

Further good news has come from retailers, as it is clear that the logistics side of the industry has been able to get a better grip on vehicle movements whilst wholesalers and auctions have been able to better manage onsite operations and movements of cars. The result has been an improvement in the volume of cars making it to the forecourts and there is no doubt that retail consumers have found more choice at their local dealers who rather than having to advertise stock on their websites as “due in” have now been able to prepare and display the car ready for new owners to view, buy and take away.

Looking at retail price performance and analysing weekly un-edited data from the whole market, the chart below shows how retail pricing has moved by Price Range as a week on week comparison.


Data powered by Cazana

The chart above shows three key metrics to demonstrate the retail pricing activity in the market last week. The blue bars refer to pricing movements for the same period in 2019 as a percentage week on week. This highlights that pricing for cars up to £30k in value were increasing although cars above that price level were experiencing a drop in retail pricing. To be clear the largest price movement was a drop of -.025% so that market was fairly stable.

The orange bars show the pricing movements for 2020 and although the movements by price range only exceeded the biggest move in 2019 by 0.1%, the market behaved differently with larger movements across almost all price ranges. Of note is the fact that in 5 of the 7 price ranges prices declined slightly which is contrary to the price increases experienced in the previous week. The grey line represents the volume of retail adverts in the market by price range. From this data we can see that retail price movements for 78% of the market were negative and the combined reduction in retail pricing for these 2 price ranges was -0.26%. At an average price of £11,433 this suggests that on average the movement was just short of £30 per car.

To put a slightly different perspective on the pricing movements the chart below looks at the retail pricing changes by market profile.


Data powered by Cazana

This is a detailed chart but provides some invaluable insight. The blue bars show the week on week retail price movement by market profile. The pattern here is interesting showing a drop in pricing for the younger market profiles and also the older cars. The orange line helps qualify the importance of the week on week price move by highlighting the percentage share of retail adverts across the whole market. Finally, the grey bars show the change in the volume of retail advert market share as a percentage week on week.

As such this chart highlights that pricing has dropped across 5 of the market profiles with the only retail price increases in what are essentially the 3 to 4 year-old market profiles. It would also appear that there is a direct correlation between the drop in retail price and those market profiles that have contracted in size. This is perhaps contrary to normal market expectation and as such requires more granular investigation.

When reviewed in tandem with the first chart the data corroborates the drop in pricing of sub £10k cars with the drop in retail pricing for Old cars on the chart above where the average price is £3721. Of note is that this average price has consistently been increasing since the re-opening of the showrooms. It also shows a potential link between the increase in the £10k to £20k car price profile in the first chart and the increase in retail prices in the Ex PCP market profile where the average Price is £19,950.

In summary, the retail market continues to remain stable although retail pricing movement from week to week is very evident. For the modern business it is crucial to acknowledge these shifts, and even more important to identify exactly where the pricing is changing and why. The stability in the data in these charts is encouraging although it must be noted that the number of extreme movements that lie in the detail has increased markedly in recent weeks reflecting the shortage of wholesale stock in the market. Given that the logistics supply chain appears to be overcoming their operational challenges, the volume of wholesale stock is likely to start to balance with demand in coming weeks and the outlier movements may start to decrease. However, the retail consumer demand look set to remain good for the short term further highlighting the need for realtime, retail driven data to ensure maximum ROI on every asset.


The Truth Behind BEV and Hybrid Pricing

The COVID-19 outbreak has taught the world many lessons both social and economic and it would be good to think that as a global community, elements of lifestyle and commerce will change for the better going forward. Amongst the many discussion points during this period, the often hotly debated topic of pollution and global warming has featured highly. The worldwide periods of lockdown have brought a true sense of understanding of the issue to many as pollution levels have dropped in major cities worldwide resulting in clearer skies and seas and somewhat ironically a reduction in serious breathing complaints. Those with respiratory issues have been more comfortable and benefitted from the enforced reduction in business and socially related pollution.

Understanding how this affects the automotive industry is critical as the UK government seeks to change the shape of vehicle ownership between now and 2035 when the ban on fossil fuel powered cars comes into effect. New car registration activity has already highlighted the somewhat early demise of the diesel powered car and the table below shows just how swiftly buying patterns have changed.

Data from the SMMT

The chart highlights the drop in diesel car sales so far this year and compounds the fall from grace of a fuel type once heralded as a saviour to pollution issues. At just 18.2% total market share and a drop of 64.9% on 2019, one wonders how this fall from grace has been so swift, specifically given that, on paper, emission levels overall are no worse than a petrol car. The biggest market gains are attributed to the Hybrid and BEV fuel types and this is undoubtedly a good thing in the medium term, as long as these cars are used appropriately although the taxation loophole surrounding business users still needs to be properly dealt with by the government.

The question is: how are these new propulsion types performing in the used car market right now and what will happen going forward? There is little doubt that technological advances in the last 18 months have made these cars more acceptable to the retail consumer and there is also the acknowledgement that hybrid cars are just a stepping-stone to, in the short to medium term, a full BEV. Fuel cell technology still seems some way off and there are challenges to overcome for this fuel type that may take many years to resolve. Discussions continue around how the electric charging infrastructure will cope with the increased volume of BEVs but some of these concerns are being offset by improvements in battery capability and driving range. These advances are eradicating consumer objections over usability and at the same time reducing the regularity of battery replenishment.

The used car market has been slower to embrace hybrid and BEVs in the large part because they are more complicated to both understand and sell. It is often easier for a dealer to sell a petrol or diesel car, particularly the latter as diesel cars offer such favourable fuel usage benefits. Sales staff often take the easy route steering consumers to traditional fuel types rather than learning about the operational functionality of new technology which takes time and patience. With the pressure to sell many vehicles in a short space of time to meet sales targets, it is simple to take the easy traditional sales route and this is not conducive to helping retail customers embrace the new propulsion types.

The chart below focuses on what has happened with BEV and Hybrid Pricing. Looking at the data reveals some interesting pricing trends particularly the year to date insight.

Data powered by Cazana

This chart looks at 2 time periods and both Hybrid and BEV pricing movements by age profile. The blue and grey bars show immediately that year to date in 2020 BEV and Hybrid pricing has moved downwards overall. When looking at a week on week performance BEVs have stabilised of late with minimal movements either way as shown by the orange bars. Conversely, the yellow bars show a more varied but generally positive performance for the hybrid pricing.

Of note is the change in the Pre Reg position whereby the year to date figure shows a drop in pricing but the week on week data shows a recovery for both fuel types. This is likely to be due to the lack of new car availability and the subsequent reduction in the number of cars being pre-registered combined with retail consumers looking for new BEV and Hybrid cars. The other notable areas of demand appear to be for Ex PCP BEVs and Ex Fleet Hybrids where pricing week on week has risen. This suggests that not only is stock short but demand is strong and consumer interest is clearly positive in reduced emission fuel types.

For some organisations the weakness in retail pricing may come as a surprise although this should not be the case given the prevailing new car market conditions and the increase in popularity with the retail consumer. As demonstrated in the first chart the volume of new car registrations is increasing and this is the required and supported long term trend. With an increase in volume comes the need to find the balance between supply and demand and this is where these fuel types are at the moment.

Historically, both BEV and Hybrid cars have been in shorter supply than demand and the chart below compares the average percentage of cost new from June 2017 against June 2020.

Data powered by Cazana

There is plenty of valuable insight in this chart and starting with the traditional fuel types, it is clear that the whilst late plate petrol cars have improved in residual value terms, 2 and 3 year old cars have seen a reduction in price for both petrol and diesel propelled cars.

The interesting insight lies with the Hybrid and BEV data. Hybrid cars have declined in value for late plate cars by 3 percentage points and by 4 percentage points at 2 years old although at 3 years old there has been an increase in residual values. This scenario suggests that pricing on later plate cars is falling and in all likelihood this is because of an increase in volume coming to the market resulting in the need for more price flexibility. At 3 years old there are less Hybrid examples in the market but demand is still strong which it would seem has resulted in an increase in residual value performance.

In contrast, BEV residual value performance has improved across all ages and this signifies that retail consumer demand may have exceeded supply. At this point, this is perfectly understandable and highlights greater consumer acceptance, although consideration must be given to the fact that this is newer technology at the moment and as volume increases, as it surely will due to the improved registrations, this propulsion type will follow Hybrid and begin to slip towards the levels of traditional fuel types.

The chart shows that Hybrid pricing is declining and the residual value performance as a percentage of cost new is falling towards that of petrol. In 2017, there was a 13 percentage point difference in favour of Hybrid cars and this has now dropped to 6 percentage points. This reflects the fact that the premium for Hybrid cars is not sustainable as volume increases.

To summarize, there is no doubt that demand for both Hybrid and BEVs is strong and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the benefits of less pollution in our atmosphere to the retail buyer. New car registrations for both fuel types continue to increase as technology advances to give better driving characteristics and ranges. However, retail pricing is beginning to change to reflect the greater volume of product on the retail forecourts and that is particularly evident with Hybrid technology when compared to residual value performance in previous years. As such, despite demand, retail pricing looks set to decline in the mid to long term to bring residual value performance more in line with the traditional fuel types.

The Under £10k Market

There has been much discussion of late around the performance of the sub £10k used car market which has come into its own following the COVID-19 outbreak in March this year.  As restrictions have relaxed in recent weeks and the wider population have been able to return to work and start social activities once again, the spotlight has been on safe travel and quite apart from the fact that public transport is considered to be fairly expensive, and in many cases not particularly clean, car ownership appears to becoming more popular.

Since the reopening of the retailer showrooms at the beginning of June, there has anecdotally been a marked increase in interest in older and cheaper cars and this is a direct result of people looking to travel more safely in their own sealed environment. Cazana has consistently supported the anecdotal feedback with realtime fact-based insight that has shown varying and predominantly positive trends for this age and price range of car. Without seeking dramatic headlines with spurious claims of 25% increases in pricing, the question is how and where the data show the hot spots in the market.

The chart below quantifies the pricing movements in the sub £10k price range since retailers re-opened their doors.

Up to £10k Retail Price Move by % by Sector Since Retailers Opened and also W/c - 06/07 Against the Previous Week

Data powered by Cazana

The blue bars show the % retail price movement since the retailers opened on June 1st through until the week commencing July 6th and it is clear to see that there has been significant movement in three key market sectors. The E or Executive sector has seen the largest improvement in pricing at just over 3.35% closely followed by the MPV sector at 3.47% with the Sports sector following at 1.59%. These movements have not been replicated in quite the same way in the last week, as shown by the orange bars, with the Executive sector showing a slight decline. Of equal interest here is that there has been a drop-in retail pricing for the A or Supermini sector which many thought would see greater demand and an increase in pricing. The other drop in retail pricing came from the F or Luxury sector but this should not be a surprise as these cars can be costly to run and maintain in this price range.

The next chart looks at activity by fuel type:

Up to £10k Retail Price Move by % by Fuel Type Since Retailer Opened and also W/c - July 6th against Previous Week

Data powered by Cazana

This chart is interesting as it highlights that the most popular fuel type in this age bracket during this period has been the Hybrid cars suggesting that the retail consumer is beginning to truly understand the value of this power type. Given that hybrid technology in this price bracket, is not hugely advanced and the volume of cars available will be quite low, any significant levels of interest will create profit opportunities for the retailers. However, sourcing Hybrid cars in this price range will also be quite difficult.

Conversely, the retail pricing for electric cars has dropped. There are potentially two reasons for this, firstly that there is no confidence in a BEV at this price and age, probably due to the fact that technology has advanced significantly since these cars were first registered and the driving range will be low. Secondly, due to what will be an increased volume of BEVs in the market, consumer demand is not there to maintain the residual value.

The final chart looks at retail price performance from the whole market with a more granular lens.

Up to £10k Retail Price Movements by % Biggest Increases by Fuel Type and Market Sector

Data powered by Cazana

This chart identifies the fuel type and market sector that has shown the greatest increase in retail price since the showrooms reopened on June 1st whilst also showing the percentage of retail adverts in the total market. It is worth noting that cars priced up to £10k represent 34.5% of the total retail adverts in the market, coming second only to the £10 to £20k price range that accounts for 42.9% of all adverts.

The largest improvement has come in the E or Executive car sector and interestingly those with diesel hybrid propulsion. Whilst this propulsion type and market sector account for just 0.1% of all retail adverts this highlights the importance of understanding where demand and hence margin opportunities lie. Looking at more mainstream cars and the increase of 1.5% in retail pricing for the C or Lower Medium cars is perhaps more expected and with a retail market presence of 3.6% overall this is quite an important increase to acknowledge. However, this chart also highlights that the M or MPV sector has 3 spots in the top 10, a trend identified by Cazana a couple of weeks ago, and appears to suggest greater retail consumer demand and perhaps a shortage of stock for a vehicle type once loved by families and now perhaps embraced by people looking to transport people in more safety either for commuting or business logistics purposes. 

In conclusion, Cazana whole market data both qualifies and quantifies the anecdotal suggestion that there is strong demand within the sub £10k price range, although the movements are less volatile than some pundits might have you believe. Given that working with retail driven realtime data is a more reliable and consistent measure of market activity, those that see snapshots of wholesale data are to be forgiven for flagging the occasional dramatic move in price on individual cars. This sector of the market remains in good shape and considering the social distancing requirements and the reluctance of the general public to travel in the same way as they did pre COVID-19 this sector is set to be active for some time to come. Using realtime data to identify the market trends and nuances, will help retailers maximise both stock turn and margin.


Cazana Weekly Retail Price Watch

The automotive industry had been holding its breath in some ways during the last week in anticipation of the chancellor’s announcement of further support for the economy. There were also some anecdotal reports that the retail consumer was also mildly reticent when it came to commitment citing interest in whether Rishi Sunak would reduce VAT across all sectors of the economy thus saving them extra pounds in the deal.

As it transpired the £30 billion support package was of less help to the retail car buyer than it was to the retailers and logistics providers. The measures of support may help in terms of bringing furloughed staff back into the business, and there is also support for the young with money for job schemes which can also be seen as good news. However, the focus was more on the hospitality and entertainment industry in a bid to improve the “feel good” factor and kick start areas of the economy that have been dormant from the start of lockdown.

The new and used car market continued to enjoy the support of retail consumers although it is fair to say that there is more demand for used cars than there is for new cars. This is due to reduced levels of new car availability from certain OEMs and on the subject of supply, it is also still clear that the wholesale logistics chain still has a way to go to get back to speed from an operational perspective. Whilst on the topic of operations it is interesting to note that the online sales piece is continuing to bring a high volume of sales highlighting that there is both some reluctance for buyers to return to the showroom but also a new level of trust in buying cars seamlessly online. For those retailers that cannot fulfil “mouse to house” operations, this is a clear indication that this is a must-have option for buyers rather than a nice to have.

Looking at retail price performance and analysing weekly un-edited data from the whole market, the chart below shows how retail pricing has moved by Price Range as a week on week comparison.

Whole Market Retail Price change as a % by Price Range W/c - 29/06 against W/c - 06/07

Data powered by Cazana

The previous chart is a comparison between data from the previous week and shows retail price movements by price range. It also compares the market with the same period last year to ascertain whether there are any material differences year on year. This week’s movements show a pretty steady picture once again although when using this lens on the market it shows that there are some downward moves in retail pricing on most price ranges over £20k which is a change from the previous week. That said the moves are fairly light but may reflect the reticence of the retail consumer mentioned earlier.

Of specific interest is the increase in pricing in the sub £20k price ranges most notably sub £10k cars. Also, of note this week is the rise in the £10k to £20k price range which has been under pressure of late with Ex PCP cars identified as the cause. It will be important to watch this tranche of the market going forward as there will be both opportunity and threat here.

Looking at the data from a different angle the chart below shows the retail price change week on week by market sector.

Whole Market Price Change as a % by Market Sector Profile W/c 29/06 against W/c 06/07

Data powered by Cazana

This chart whilst complex is important because of the depth of the data that it represents, and it looks at three key market measures from the perspective of activity by age profile. This helps to put data in the first graph into context. The blue bar looks at pricing movements by way of a percentage move week on week. The orange bar shows the proportion of the retail advertising market that each age profile commands and finally the grey line highlights the volume movement change as a percentage of retail adverts by age profile week on week.

This reveals that all but the Ex PCP and Ex Fleet Old profiles show an increase in pricing, albeit modest, in all but the case of the Pre Reg cars. With a 3.27% increase in pricing, this Pre-Reg market is perhaps reflecting the ability to command higher prices where the new car market is short of stock. Deeper analysis by OEM provides fascinating further context. This chart also shows that the Pre Reg profile is one of 4 age profiles to see a drop in the volume of retail adverts shown in the market which supports the ability to increase retail pricing to match retail consumer demand.

The chart also highlights that from the Part Exchange sector onwards there are further retail price increases and also a decline in the retail advert representation in the market. This further supports the retail price increases evident in the first chart by price range. The shortage of stock and retail consumer demand for older cheaper cars is still an important part of today’s “new normal”.

With an overall market increase in Retail Pricing of 0.22% week on week it is clear that certainly, for the time being, the balance of the retail consumer demand and supply of wholesale vehicles are working well. Retailer frustrations getting hold of cars bought from auctions is growing but there is little anyone can do to resolve this. The shortage of stock is causing volatility in the wholesale market and this has resulted in margin erosion as buyer struggle to find cars for the pitches. There is little doubt that the next few weeks and months will continue to be both volatile and risky at times. All things considered, the use of retail driven realtime insight is imperative to ensure retailers and remarketers are fully aware of fact-based retail pricing trends in order to facilitate enhanced financial return.