More used car dealers say stock supply is an issue than at any time in over a year

23 May 2023

More dealers say that stock supply is currently the biggest challenge facing their business than at any point in over a year.

  • 84% say that stock availability is the biggest challenge facing their business, according to May’s Startline Used Car Tracker
  • 54% report condition of stock is worsening and 38% that it is getting older
  • 31% are looking for new sources of stock

May’s Startline Used Car Tracker shows that 84% believe it is their number one concern. This is the highest level since the monthly survey first began 13 months ago, with the previous high of 77% being recorded in July 2022.


Additionally, 54% say that the general condition of stock is worsening and 41% that the cars they are retailing are getting older, while 39% are looking for new sources of stock. No dealers in the research reported that stock is getting younger and just 2% that condition is improving.


More than a quarter (26%) of those surveyed also say some types of vehicles are in improved supply but conversely, 24% reported that availability of others is getting worse. Overall, 57% say that the situation remains poor.


Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “Demand in the used car market remains really quite strong, despite the cost of living crisis and other economic difficulties, while new car supply remains well below historic levels, even though it is slowly improving.


“What this means is that the stock supply situation just isn’t really getting any better for dealers and, in some key respects is getting worse, with retailers having to sell cars that are continuing to age and in worsening condition.


“While more than a third of dealers report that they are looking for new sources of stock, there are no easy solutions to these problems. New car production is unlikely to suddenly ramp up while consumer demand gives every impression that it will stay pretty resilient.”


The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled monthly for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research, well-known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs. This time, 302 consumers and 59 dealers were questioned.