Growing sales numbers could be a reflection of retailer registrations rather than genuine sales according to one source

UK car registration figures are being skewed by retailers who self-register their vehicles, one global real estate advisor has told Autocar.

David Chittenden, head of automotive and roadside at commercial property firm Colliers International, said that while recent increases in car registration numbers is positive news, they don’t accurately reflect the level of sales taking place in Britain.

“The information only takes into consideration those cars registered as sold to dealers,” he said. “Once they have bought the vehicles, these retailers will then need to get them sold to customers; the margins that they are making are therefore low overall with I suspect average dealer profitability likely to be still less than 1.5% on sales.”

Chittenden, who has seen demand increase from retailers for land to store pre-registered cars on, told Autocar that he believes up to 20% of some retailer registrations come from pre-registrations.

“Until the manufacturers and dealers find a solution to this perennial problem, we will continue to see skewed statistics and the real parameter for the industry’s profitability and strength of the market will only be when the next dealer group accounts come out over the next few months,” he explained. “Indeed, much of our time is now spent finding property solutions for dealers to secure compounds and aftersales facilities as the pressure on existing sites continues to grow.”

European car sales reach highest level since 2007

Chittenden said that retailers are motivated to register as many cars as possible in order to meet manufacturer targets. He said hitting these targets can often lead to bonuses.

However, Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) chief executive Mike Hawes believes the allegations are unfair. He said “No-one has the figures, as it's a matter for the dealers and their choice what they choose to do to manage their stock. There are customer benefits, too - because the stock is immediately available and discounted.

"We are confident it is a very, very small part of the market - and long has been. I do not believe pre-registration is a significant part of the market and I don't think it unduly distorts the market."

Nevertheless, Chittenden maintains that retailers are taking a risk with current pre-registration numbers. “We’re talking about four to six acre sites of pre-registered cars per retailer in some cases,” he said. “The average site has gone up by an acre over the last 10 years. It only takes a bit of a bad news story or economic crisis and these retailers will find themselves in a touchy situation with their stock.”

According to SMMT figures, UK car registration figures hit a record high in 2016, with 2.69 million cars registered across the 12 months, a 2.2% increase on the year before. Experts are predicting a decrease in 2017 due to a combination of economic and political uncertainty.

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Comments
22

6 January 2017
I thought pre reg was Vauxhalls default method of doing business? You'd have to have a few screws loose to buy a 1.6 Diesel Insignia for 24k, but at 16k pre reg with delivery miles, its a lot more reasonable. Of course its a Vauxhall so isnt actually worth anything at all but theres all sorts in this world, including people who will pay others to flagellate them.

6 January 2017
winniethewoo wrote:

I thought pre reg was Vauxhalls default method of doing business? You'd have to have a few screws loose to buy a 1.6 Diesel Insignia for 24k, but at 16k pre reg with delivery miles, its a lot more reasonable. Of course its a Vauxhall so isnt actually worth anything at all but theres all sorts in this world, including people who will pay others to flagellate them.

I think you were knocked down by a Viva 20 years ago near Elmsmere and just can't 'let go'. Is every post you ever make regardless of subject going to go down the anti-Vauxhall route?

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

7 January 2017
xxxx wrote:
winniethewoo wrote:

I thought pre reg was Vauxhalls default method of doing business? You'd have to have a few screws loose to buy a 1.6 Diesel Insignia for 24k, but at 16k pre reg with delivery miles, its a lot more reasonable. Of course its a Vauxhall so isnt actually worth anything at all but theres all sorts in this world, including people who will pay others to flagellate them.

I think you were knocked down by a Viva 20 years ago near Elmsmere and just can't 'let go'. Is every post you ever make regardless of subject going to go down the anti-Vauxhall route?

Yes, either that or anti Mustang V8.

289

6 January 2017
.....that this is really news to them?
I have been telling them this for years.
Instead Autocar peddle ridiculous un-validated SMMT 'feel-good factor' press releases telling us how this is the twenty something month of continuous record breaking sales in the UK...indicating that the economic future is rosy! It is not...all this is based on unsustainable levels of personal debt and means that unless checked, we are heading for another bloodbath on the epic scale of 2008/9.
The whole business model is ridiculous....approximately 1 in 5 cars built this year world wide is surplus to requirements. This crazy over production means that the folly of pre-reg isn't ending and the manufacturers will continue to force the dealers at the end of each month to pre-reg or miss the all important bonus payments. Which would mean that they would actually lose money.
This of course continues to educate the public NOT to buy new cars....really clever.
As for Mike Hawes.....I know his job is to support/promote the Manufacturers/Dealers, but this rubbish he is spouting is ridiculous bullshit. He knows that everyone in the industry knows full well how many cars are being pre-registered....and I can tell you it is in excess of 20%.
Mike is insulting peoples intelligence which does him and the industry no favours at all.
One brand who shall remain nameless registered 78% of its so called 'sold vehicles' in the last two days of a particular month last year. Highly unlikely for buyers to take delivery at that point in the month and waste a complete month of RFL.....these are pre-reg.....and it goes on and on, these numbers will be repeated over and over again. Don't make the mistake of thinking that it is only the volume players doing this, the premium brands are at it too ...and some!

6 January 2017
It only takes a couple of quick searches to realise some dealer groups have hundreds of pre-regs ready to sell on at silly prices. I have seen one dealer group have stock of over 300 2016 reg Vauxhall Corsa's. I saw a 2016 16 1.4 Energy with 25 miles on the clock going for £7800. Full retail price as new 13.5K, how is that for depreciation of a 6 month old car...

All this manipulation of figures does, is drive car values down, add in the PCP revolution and you have a toxic mix that means horrendous depreciation.

7 January 2017
JezyG wrote:

,,,,,I have seen one dealer group have stock of over 300 2016 reg Vauxhall Corsa's. I saw a 2016 16 1.4 Energy with 25 miles on the clock going for £7800. Full retail price as new 13.5K, how is that for depreciation of a 6 month old car...
.

That's interesting I need a cheap run-a-round pre-reg corsa, there must be one good pre-reg out of 300, can you tell me the dealers name please?

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

7 January 2017
xxxx wrote:
JezyG wrote:

,,,,,I have seen one dealer group have stock of over 300 2016 reg Vauxhall Corsa's. I saw a 2016 16 1.4 Energy with 25 miles on the clock going for £7800. Full retail price as new 13.5K, how is that for depreciation of a 6 month old car...
.

That's interesting I need a cheap run-a-round pre-reg corsa, there must be one good pre-reg out of 300, can you tell me the dealers name please?

An Insignia and Corsa? God, the thought of it makes me want to pass out.

7 January 2017
xxxx wrote:
JezyG wrote:

,,,,,I have seen one dealer group have stock of over 300 2016 reg Vauxhall Corsa's. I saw a 2016 16 1.4 Energy with 25 miles on the clock going for £7800. Full retail price as new 13.5K, how is that for depreciation of a 6 month old car...
.

That's interesting I need a cheap run-a-round pre-reg corsa, there must be one good pre-reg out of 300, can you tell me the dealers name please?

Not a problem it was Evans Halshaw 1.4 74 Energy 3dr, Pentagon Vauxhall also have quite a few at the 8K mark and 66 delivery miles at 8.5K. Quick search on Autotrader will reveal hundreds...

7 January 2017
xxxx wrote:
JezyG wrote:

,,,,,I have seen one dealer group have stock of over 300 2016 reg Vauxhall Corsa's. I saw a 2016 16 1.4 Energy with 25 miles on the clock going for £7800. Full retail price as new 13.5K, how is that for depreciation of a 6 month old car...
.

That's interesting I need a cheap run-a-round pre-reg corsa, there must be one good pre-reg out of 300, can you tell me the dealers name please?

Not a problem it was Evans Halshaw 1.4 74 Energy 3dr, Pentagon Vauxhall also have quite a few at the 8K mark and 66 delivery miles at 8.5K. Quick search on Autotrader will reveal hundreds...

8 January 2017
JezyG wrote:
xxxx wrote:
JezyG wrote:

,,,,,I have seen one dealer group have stock of over 300 2016 reg Vauxhall Corsa's. I saw a 2016 16 1.4 Energy with 25 miles on the clock going for £7800. Full retail price as new 13.5K, how is that for depreciation of a 6 month old car...
.

That's interesting I need a cheap run-a-round pre-reg corsa, there must be one good pre-reg out of 300, can you tell me the dealers name please?

They also have 78 1 series too with less than a 1000 miles on, so even the posh German brands do it
Not a problem it was Evans Halshaw 1.4 74 Energy 3dr, Pentagon Vauxhall also have quite a few at the 8K mark and 66 delivery miles at 8.5K. Quick search on Autotrader will reveal hundreds...

They've got 78 BMW 1 series with less than a 1000 miles and 227 less than a year old. Which just shows even the posh German brands do it.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

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