Motor Trade Sales Rise 3.9% in April 2024; Used Vehicles Lead the Way

  • Motor trade sales surged by 3.9% in April 2024, driven by used vehicle and accessory sales.
  • Quarterly analysis shows a 1.9% decrease, primarily due to a slump in new vehicle sales.
  • Seasonally adjusted sales saw a 2.2% decline, mainly attributed to drops in new vehicle and fuel sales.

In April 2024, motor trade sales experienced a significant boost. Real-term sales, adjusted to constant 2019 prices, increased by 3.9% year-on-year. This rise was primarily driven by used vehicle sales and sales of accessories.

Major Positive Contributors

Used Vehicle Sales
Used vehicle sales surged by 19.5%, contributing a substantial 3.7 percentage points to the overall increase.

Sales of Accessories
Sales of accessories grew by 4.0%, adding 0.8 percentage points to the positive trend.

Major Negative Contributor

Fuel Sales
On the downside, fuel sales dropped by 2.8%, detracting 0.8 percentage points from the overall growth.

Month-on-Month Performance

The month-on-month performance of motor trade sales also showed improvement. Seasonally adjusted sales increased by 7.2% in April 2024 compared with March 2024.

Monthly Changes

March 2024
In March 2024, there was a decline of 7.2%.

February 2024
February 2024 saw a slight decrease of 0.6%.

Quarterly Analysis

Despite the positive annual and monthly trends, the quarterly analysis reveals a different story. Motor trade sales decreased by 1.9% in the three months ended April 2024 compared with the same period in 2023.

Negative Quarterly Contributors

New Vehicle Sales
New vehicle sales fell by 9.6%, contributing -2.4 percentage points to the quarterly decrease.

Positive Quarterly Contributor

Used Vehicle Sales
Used vehicle sales, however, rose by 4.4%, contributing 0.9 percentage points positively.

Seasonal Adjustments and Trends

When adjusting for seasonal factors, the motor trade sales saw a decline. Seasonally adjusted sales decreased by 2.2% in the three months ended April 2024 compared to the previous three months.

Key Negative Contributors

New Vehicle Sales
New vehicle sales declined by 5.2%, contributing -1.3 percentage points.

Fuel Sales
Fuel sales dropped by 2.7%, contributing -0.8 percentage points.

Tables and Data

To provide a clearer picture, here are the detailed statistics in tabular form:

CategoryChange (%)Contribution (Percentage Points)
Used Vehicle Sales+19.5+3.7
Sales of Accessories+4.0+0.8
Fuel Sales-2.8-0.8

PeriodChange (%)
April 2024 vs. March 2024+7.2
March 2024-7.2
February 2024-0.6

Quarter Ended April 2024Change (%)Contribution (Percentage Points)
New Vehicle Sales-9.6-2.4
Used Vehicle Sales+4.4+0.9

Seasonally Adjusted QuarterlyChange (%)Contribution (Percentage Points)
New Vehicle Sales-5.2-1.3
Fuel Sales-2.7-0.8

Market Insights and Future Projections

The motor trade sector has shown mixed performance, reflecting broader economic conditions and consumer behaviors. Used vehicle sales have been a bright spot, indicating a shift in consumer preferences.

Used Vehicles Demand

The substantial increase in used vehicle sales suggests a growing market preference for more affordable options. Economic factors may be driving this trend as consumers seek cost-effective alternatives.

Accessory Sales Growth

The growth in accessory sales indicates increased consumer spending on vehicle enhancements. This could be linked to the rising trend of customizing vehicles to enhance performance and aesthetics.

Decline in Fuel Sales

The decline in fuel sales is a significant concern. It may reflect broader shifts towards electric vehicles and improved fuel efficiency, as well as reduced travel due to remote work trends.

New Vehicle Sales Slump

The slump in new vehicle sales is worrying for manufacturers and dealers. High prices and economic uncertainty might be deterring consumers from making new purchases.

Industry Responses and Adaptations

Industry players are adapting to these trends by focusing more on used vehicle sales and accessories. Manufacturers are also pushing for innovations in fuel efficiency and electric vehicle technology.

Dealer Strategies

Dealers are likely to increase their inventory of used vehicles and promote accessory sales. Offering financing options and incentives could help boost new vehicle sales.

Manufacturer Innovations

Manufacturers are investing in new technologies to meet changing consumer demands. This includes developing more electric vehicles and enhancing fuel efficiency in traditional models.


The motor trade sector’s performance in April 2024 highlights the dynamic nature of the market. While used vehicle and accessory sales drive growth, challenges remain with fuel and new vehicle sales.

Monitoring these trends and adapting strategies will be crucial for stakeholders in the coming months. The balance between innovation and consumer preferences will shape the future of the motor trade industry.