Press release

Used car prices remain strong and it's expected to continue, says Auto Trader

  • Used car prices have seen sustained growth since May and growth is accelerating
  • The average price of a used car increased by 4.4% w/c 6th July (compared to same time last year)
  • Consumer demand continues to outweigh supply, driving used car prices up

The average price of used cars has seen continued growth each week since May and this growth is accelerating. The average price of a used car listed on Auto Trader was £15,025 in the week of 6th July.

In the week commencing 6th July, the average price of a used car increased by 4.4% year-on-year (on a like-for-like basis). Looking at the data on a more granular level, it’s a positive picture across segments, ages and fuel types. The average price of a petrol car grew by 5.4% in the week commencing 6th July (year-on-year), having seen sustained growth for 19 weeks. For the same time period, the average price of diesel cars grew 4.1%.

Alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs), of which there are much lower volumes compared with traditional combustion engines, have seen more nuanced price movements. Electric vehicle prices rose by 2.7% while prices of hybrid vehicles depressed by -1.6%. Although pricing trends for AFVs are not as good as their ICE counterparts, demand and searches for these fuel types have strengthen meaning prices will continue to improve week-on-week.

Volume brands are seeing particularly strong growth, increasing by 8.2% year-on-year, while premium brands are growing in price by 2.2%.

The average prices of vehicles up to 15 years old also increased, with particularly pronounced rises in older categories; those aged between 10-15 years grew by 6.6% in the four weeks up to 13th July, compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, prices for five to 10-year-old cars grew by 4.9% and for cars aged three to five years the growth was 4.2%.

The same positive trends can also be seen when comparing price evolution by body type. Particularly in the core segments representing the majority of the volume products in the used car market.  In the four weeks to 13th July, the average price of a hatchback increased by 8.3%, 3.5% for saloons and 1.7% for SUVs, when compared to the same time frame last year. Convertibles prices are strengthening week-on-week, however average prices are depressed year-on-year by -1.1%; this is because prices for this segment were very strong last year thanks to the hotter weather in the UK.

Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s director of data and insights, comments on the findings:

“It’s not just that prices are up right now; ever since retailers have been able to restart their sales, used car prices have seen sustained growth for more than 10 weeks and it’s clear this growth is accelerating. It’s imperative to consider all market factors when evaluating price. Price is driven by supply and consumer-driven demand, and although supply has been constrained with auction houses being slower to reopen since lockdown, they are returning to over 90% of pre-COVID-19 levels. Thanks to our massive audience share of car buyers and 64 million cross platform visits in June, we have a robust picture of consumer demand which outweighs supply greatly and there’s no signs of this slowing. Consumer confidence seems relatively robust too, with 82% saying they are ‘as confident’ or ‘more confident’ in being able to afford their next car than they were a year ago[1].

“We encouraged retailers to retain their prices during lockdown which paid off and the industry is seeing the benefits of that now. This message still stands; prices remain robust overall, they are growing in the majority of segments and there are no indications to suggest retailers need to start reducing them.”

Auto Trader pricing data is reflected in its AT Market Insight tool which is designed to help retailers identify and adapt to market trends as they happen. It provides vehicle supply and consumer demands on both a local and national scale, alongside pricing. The intelligence is powered by Auto Trader’s new Market Health metric, which compares the balance of supply and demand versus the previous year to assess the health of the market for a specific vehicle type, and is presented in a simple and convenient indicator: Market Stronger; Market Neutral; and Market Weaker; and is fully customisable by fuel type, make, model, age and body type.

-ENDS-

About Auto Trader

Auto Trader Group plc is the UK and Ireland's largest digital automotive marketplace. Auto Trader sits at the heart of the UK's vehicle buying process and its primary activity is to help vehicle retailers compete effectively on the marketplace in order to sell more vehicles, faster. Auto Trader listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2015 and is now a member of the FTSE 100 Index.

The marketplace brings together the largest and most engaged consumer audience. Auto Trader has over 90% consumer prompted brand awareness and attracts circa 50 million monthly cross platform visits each month, with over 80% of visits coming through mobile devices.

For more information, please visit https://plc.autotrader.co.uk/who-we-are/about-us/ 

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Rachel Newby | Rachel.newby@autotrader.co.uk

[1] Auto Trader survey in June among 1,358 respondents

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Auto Trader Limited
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