Press release

Retail Price Index | June 2019

Average price of used cars remains strong, despite slowing price growth

  • Price growth of used cars is 0.1% - lowest since 2016
  • AFVs driving price growth at 4.9% - EVs record 11.2% price increase
  • Cars up to five years of age are bringing the used car price market down

With an average price of £12,763, used car price growth is almost neutral this month, at just 0.1% on last year - the lowest it’s been since Q3 2016 – according to the Auto Trader Retail Price Index. When looking at this data on a more granular level, it’s cars up to five years old which are responsible for slowing down overall growth.

Diesel price growth in reverse

Whilst the average price of a used car is only just increasing, the price growth for diesel is now in decline, at -0.5%, recording an average price of £14,123. Petrol remains in the black with 0.2% price growth and average prices remaining steady: £11,169.

EVs storming the market

While the figures for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles are crawling in growth, price growth for alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) continue to grow apace with 4.9% year-on-year price growth and an average price of £21,759. Electric vehicles are driving the price growth with gusto at 11.2% and the average price continues to rise to unprecedented levels: £24,985 up from £23,771 last month.

Age is not just a number

Trends in the used car market are most notable when comparing ages. Cars up to five years of age have dropped to -0.4% price growth while those aged five years and older are balancing those figures, at 1.6%. Cars aged three to five years are particularly struggling at a decline of -0.6%. This is likely due to the increased number of cars in that age range; 2016 was a record year for the new car market causing significant overheating. Fleet cars will too have impacted these numbers, and as they return to retailers now, there’s higher supply and lower demand.

Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Director of Commercial Products at Auto Trader, comments: “Used car prices are trending towards a neutral rate, and it would not be surprising if we started to see negative figures. This is likely to be driven by several factors impacting consumers; Brexit and the ongoing confusion – not helped by the change in Prime Minister – and the mixed messaging around alternatively fuelled vehicles. It cannot be denied that over recent months we have continued to see price growth increase which is not sustainable. Right now, the demand isn’t as strong as we have seen previously but supply is and as such, prices have adjusted accordingly.”

Meanwhile, used cars which are around three years old with circa 60,000 miles on the clock have dropped by 8.9%. This is down to the seasonal trend; prices decrease in April, May and June following an influx of stock in the market driven by the plate change. This saturation in the market leads prices to decrease. Albeit the drop this month is more severe than we’ve seen previously.

Search volumes

The percentage of searches by fuel type is unchanged this month and continues to be dominated by petrol with 51%, diesels are at 41% and AFVs have 8% share of search. The most searched for used car this month is the BMW 3-Series, followed by the VW Golf, Mercedes E-Class, BWM 1-Series and Ford Focus.

Get set for forecourts opening on Monday with our latest #GetRetailReady #infographic revealing car buyer's thoughts and expectations in the new #retail landscape. https://t.co/iEsnRun6j8 https://t.co/OPHraHWwX1
Auto Trader Highly Rated is back for 2020! Our Highly Rated Award recognises those car retailers delivering the very best in customer service. Find out when we will be announcing the 2020 Award recipients and what criteria you need to meet to qualify. https://t.co/3KF1MkqhfV https://t.co/LpmE65LbMw
Ian Plummer was invited onto @BBCNews this morning to discuss the latest manufacturing figures from the @SMMT. He took the opportunity to highlight the pent up demand in the market & all the measures #retailers have been taking to get #retailready ahead of #showrooms reopening https://t.co/uNmpEYMatT
Thanks James, kind of you to say and great to hear you've found the insight beneficial https://t.co/63vAiNfMfG
To help retailers get back to selling vehicles as quickly as possible, we're launching a new marketing campaign as well as introducing some of the biggest changes to our site in recent years designed to drive more buyers to your ads. Find out more here: https://t.co/JvfE40zohI https://t.co/dqnoP6x3G0
With showrooms set to open on Monday, we’ve put together a handy #infographic to take you through car buyers' thoughts and expectations in the new #retail landscape. https://t.co/nqvKSP6X5t https://t.co/fUhwQ9j9Fq
Thanks to everyone for joining today's #webinar and of course thank you to our guest presenters @adamjt11 and @MikeHawesSMMT. Be sure to join next week and best of luck to those opening their doors next week #retailready https://t.co/qkAmfJw5kC
Catherine reveals the latest changes coming to the Auto Trader platform to improve the #userexperience and increase ad views and dwell time. https://t.co/EiIphIdQfH
Our latest consumer #marketing campaign is designed to give consumers confidence that they can join the car buying journey again and to push the message that #automotive is back in business!
Back to Catherine to talk about how we are helping consumers to get #retailready

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