Startline: Q4 likely to set tone for 2022 used car market

7 September 2021


he fourth quarter of 2021 is likely to set the tone for the used car market in 2022, says Startline Motor Finance, reflecting what the company describes as “the real post-pandemic economy”.

Paul Burgess, chief executive at Startline Motor Finance, said: “For some time, we have all been working in a pretty successful used car market created by highly unusual and sometimes artificial circumstances. However, it is now possible to see definite signs of that situation coming to an end in Q4.”

Burgess added that this doesn’t mean that the market is set to fall. “In fact, we believe 2022 will remain relatively buoyant but we are very likely to see a scene emerging that will much more closely resemble business-as-usual. The two big factors here are the ending of government pandemic-based economic support to a major degree and the slow normalisation of supply chains meaning that new car sales will start to pick up.

“Arguably, we are now entering the real post-pandemic economy. The supply and demand trends that we are seeing are the ones that will probably come to represent the new normal for the used car sector in 2022.”

Burgess said that wider social factors would also play a role in the sector’s outlook for 2022, however they were more difficult to predict.

“We’re likely to see an unusual employment situation persist for a little while where unemployment is quite high but wages are rising, too. It is tricky to understand how and if this will ultimately impact on car buying or how quickly it will resolve,” he said.