Automotive trends we’ve seen in 2022

16 Dec, 2022

With another year drawing to a close, the face of the motor trade has shifted once again. The pandemic disrupted traders massively, but prices rocketed once restrictions were dropped. We reported in the summer that there’d been year-on-year price growth for 26 consecutive months, but likewise traders were struggling for stock.

So has 2022 been the return to normality many hoped for? These 2022 motor trade trends say otherwise.

More car buyers are shopping online

During Covid, dealers had to turn to digital channels to move stock. Or at the very least, to set up viewings and talk to potential customers. That trend hasn’t gone away in 2022. Research shows 92% of people looking to buy a car, now do online research before making a purchase.

“Having an online presence is pretty much essential for most motor traders now,” says John Wilkins, Commercial Manager at Tradesure. “Lots of traders rely on word-of-mouth recommendations for business, but if people can’t look you up online it’s not as easy to get new customers.”

Electric vehicles are bucking sales trends

The SMMT reported that sales of used vehicles from July to September 2022 were 12% lower than in the same period of 2021. However, BEVs (battery electric vehicles) didn’t follow this trend. In fact, sales of used electric cars were up by 44% in Q3, and demand keeps rising.

Hybrid electric cars and plug-in hybrids that are pre-owned have also sold at higher rates this year than in 2021. It doesn’t look like this will be going away into the New Year.

The Ford Fiesta is the favourite

For all three quarters of 2022 that have been reported on, the Ford Fiesta topped the list as the most-sold used car in the UK. A total of 220,172 had been recorded as sold by the end of September, with the Vauxhall Corsa, 2021’s favourite second-hand car, bumped into second place. Back in June we thought the Corsa was going to take home the prize for a second year in the row, but finalised figures clearly put Ford back on top.

“What we’re seeing is the enduring popularity of the small hatchback, with the Fiesta, Corsa and Golf all comfortable in those top 3 positions,” says John. “Britain loves a good small car – they give a lot of bang for your buck, and with prices on the rise still we might not see many saloons and larger cars able to compete.”

What’s in store for 2023?

Prices continue to ride high and stock is still a challenge. Electric car demand will only go up, and that’s a whole other ball game for many motor traders who have tended to stick to combustion engine cars until recently.

Join us in January for a more detailed look at 2023. Until then, feel free to share your thoughts on the past year below, or get in touch for a motor trade insurance quote – we’ll be happy to help you take care of your motor trade business!