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Dealers need to ensure that their forecourts are well stocked to meet consumer demand, but this can be easier said than done. More than two-thirds (68%) of dealers are finding it challenging to source the right stock at an affordable price, according to the latest Forecourt Foresight research from Close Brothers Motor Finance

Over half (53%) of dealers list a lack of availability as a key challenge to sourcing stock, which is made harder by increased competition from other independent dealers (51%) as well as large, franchised dealers (25%). 11% of dealers also attribute increased competition at auction houses as a factor in making the right stock harder to come by. Just 7% of dealers stated they do not face any challenges when buying stock.

The Forecourt Foresight research, which surveys more than 130 dealers, also revealed that almost three-quarters (74%) of dealers currently cite trade-ins as their primary source of stock. More than two-thirds (70%) look to online auctions to stock their forecourts, and three-in five (60%) purchase vehicles from private sellers. Interestingly, 44% of dealers stated that they look for stock via other dealerships, and a third (33%) turn to digital platforms such as Auto Trader and Motorway. Only 21% of dealers now use in-person auctions to find vehicles.

Lisa Watson (pictured), Director of Sales at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said: “Our latest Forecourt Foresight survey highlights the difficulties dealers are currently facing when trying to source stock in a highly competitive environment.

“Dealers have already had to deal with a tough market over recent times, with rising costs and subdued consumer demand stemming from the cost-of-living crisis presenting a raft of challenges. With stock becoming increasingly hard to stock, now is more important than ever for dealers to utilise tools and insights to ensure their forecourts are best stocked to meet buying trends, in order to maximise profitability whilst challenges persist.”

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