Car dealer stock trends - what to buy next

Forecasting what stock will sell is a tricky business at the best of times. But the pandemic has disrupted normal seasonal motoring trends, making dealers’ jobs even harder.
 
So looking ahead as best we can, what stock should you consider buying for your showroom or forecourt? Read on for our pick of the top trends you should know about.
 
And remember: whatever you buy, you must get it covered with suitable motor trade insurance. Fire, theft and accidents can always threaten your stock, your business and your livelihood.
 

Vans

One pandemic trend that is going nowhere soon is that of home deliveries. It’s been a boom time for delivery drivers, with restaurants transforming into takeaways, supermarkets ramping up their online ordering systems, and even tiny start-ups switching to home deliveries to stay afloat while their buildings remain off-limits to customers.
 
So it’s no surprise to see that van sales are accelerating rapidly. Registrations of new light commercial vehicles (LCVs), pick-ups and 4x4s were up 26% in September 2020 from the previous year.
 
Most segments of the LCV market did well. Registrations of medium vans, above two tonnes, rose by 11.6%, while larger vans weighing between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes increased by a staggering 40.9%.
 
What second-hand vans should you be stocking? It seems that companies are eager to avoid yet more disruption to their businesses, and are more concerned by condition and reliability than price. “Retail-ready” vans could well be snapped up as soon as they reach your forecourt.
 
As a trader yourself, you’ll understand the importance of business continuity. Make sure you’ve got great insurance for your motor trade business to cover you for risks such as fire, theft and accidents.
 A line of vans parked on a forecourt for sale

Cheaper used cars

The used car market certainly took a knock during lockdown. Nobody was going anywhere! However, many experts feel that it is bouncing back, with a rise in both volumes and values forecast for 2021.
 
This is largely because the pandemic has forced commuters off public transport, yet not everyone can work from home. And in these financially uncertain times, with job losses on the horizon, many buyers are reluctant to shell out on a brand new car.
 
Quite how the second-hand car market will pan out in 2021 remains to be seen. But over summer 2020, between the first and second lockdowns, anything under £12,000 was said to be selling well, with vehicles priced at sub-£5,000 particularly sought after. Cars that were more than seven years old were in high demand.
 
Second-hand superminis were popular: ideal for zipping to and from city workplaces, and easier to squeeze into an office car park than a family estate or people carrier.
 
Many families bought these as a second or even third vehicle. They were likely to be kept on the street rather than on a driveway or in a garage, so buyers were perhaps not too picky about the odd scratch or dent.
 
Of course, buyers will want to test drive second-hand models to check they’re in decent working order. Insurance for a car dealership covers vehicles for any damage caused during test drives, allowing you to offer an excellent customer experience to prospective buyers.
 

Alternative fuelled vehicles

Sales of electric and hybrid vehicles overtook diesel for the first time in early 2020, and are now catching up with petrol cars, too.
 
And the alternative fuelled vehicle (AVF) market received an extra boost with the UK Government’s announcement in November 2020 of a ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030. Incentive schemes to encourage drivers to make the switch will be launched in due course.
 
So you can expect to see demand for AVFs rise further in the coming months. They’re valued not only for their lower environmental impact, but also for their reduced running costs. Of course, you’ll still need to make sure yours are covered by motor trade insurance.
 
The demand is likely to vary depending on where your business is located, as infrastructure for AFVs is still lacking, particularly outside cities. Consequently, while 38% of city dwellers are planning on making their next vehicle an AFV, that’s true for just 30% of those living in towns and 28% of those in villages.
 
Hybrids are therefore the vehicle of choice for many of those drivers planning on switching from petrol or diesel for their next car purchase. Certain models will be on sale until 2035, by which time we can hope that car technology and national infrastructure have advanced to the point where fully electric vehicles are viable for more motorists.
 An electric car plugged in to a charger

New launches

Finally, despite the huge setback to the motor trade posed by the pandemic, development of new vehicles continues apace.
 
You’ll see exciting new models this year from Nissan, Mercedes, Citro├źn and Hyundai, among many others. New luxury saloons, sporty SUVs, hypercars and budget superminis will all take to the UK’s roads over the next few months. Many of them are electric or hybrid.
 
It’s a hopeful sign that the fortunes of the car market are turning around, and that 2021 will be a brighter year for the trade.
 
Remember – while pandemics are fortunately rare, there are numerous other risks to your business, such as fire and theft. Insurance for motor trade businesses is essential to keep your garage or car dealership in business.
 

Get a quote from Insurance Choice today

It’s been a crazy year – but there are good reasons to be optimistic about 2021. So make sure you’re raring to go by getting your motor trade insurance sorted.
 
At Insurance Choice, we arrange insurance that meets your requirements for your business. It covers you for risks such as fire, theft, or damage to your premises and stock, as well as for test drives.
 
We arrange cover for a wide variety of motor trades, including both full-time and part-time traders. Collection and delivery cover can be included, allowing you to carry on trading even when your showroom might be shut.
 
Contact Insurance Choice today to discuss what you need to protect your business over the coming months.

Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.