Fleet News

New plate changes cause 10 week spike for dealers

Neil Frost - Autorola UK

Autorola UK says the spike in trading caused by a new plate change now typically takes 10 weeks before settling back down to normal.

The growing number of new cars being registered, the subsequent number of part exchanges that are being generated and the pre registrations phenomena mean a new plate change has grown into a 70-day process.

Neil Frost, Autorola UK’s operations director, said: “Our used sales and stock volumes on our online portal have continued to grow year on year and visibly during 20 weeks of the year around plate changes.

“The hiatus around a new plate change has grown on average from six to 10 weeks simply because of the ever growing volumes of new and used cars coming into the market place.”

Dealers generally use the last two weeks of February and August to tidy up their used car and dealer demos to identify and sell over age stock to free up available space on site.

The months following plate change – May and October – are then dedicated to deciding what part exchange stock to keep and what to sell and then sourcing used cars to retain a healthy stock mix.

Despite this lengthening period it still improves on the huge strain the previous single plate change in August put on the motor industry before it was scrapped in 1999.

“An increase in new car lead times and the delay when fleets have to extend their contracts as they wait for a driver’s new car has are also added extra spice to a dealer’s life. Dealers constantly have to react to change as the market changes and following the Brexit result there could be more change to come,” said Frost. 

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