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Auto Trader urges car dealers to hold firm with used car prices as demand surges despite lockdown announcement

Time 11 months ago

Auto Trader is urging car dealers to hold firm with used car pricing as demand remains high and its website sees leads sent to retailers increase by 17 per cent over the weekend, despite the lockdown announcement. 

The used car classified website has around 900,000 vehicles listed and has seen consumer demand stay strong despite the Welsh ‘firebreak’ lockdown and news that England will be going back into lockdown on Thursday.

For the second consecutive month, Auto Trader has seen the average used car retail price increase, up by 8.6 per cent year-on-year in October – the largest ever monthly price increase ever recorded on its marketplace.


The biggest growth area was in internal combustion vehicles, with second-hand petrol cars seeing the highest rate of growth since February 2018, up nine per cent to £12,612.

Used diesel cars were not far off this rate of growth, with their values up by 8.8 per cent to an average retail price of £14,899.

Alternatively fuelled vehicles saw prices increase for the first time since February 2020, up by 0.07 per cent to an average price of £23,301, while fully electric vehicle prices fell by 2.6 per cent, a significant easing compared to the 4.1 per cent decline in September.

Prices also increased across all body types with hatchbacks and MPVs seeing the highest rate of growth at 12.9 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.


SUVs saw the highest increase in demand, up 18.1 per cent year-on-year, while supply fell by 6.6 per cent and prices also increased by 4.9 per cent.

Auto Trader’s director of data and insight Richard Walker said: ‘The introduction of the second national lockdown in England and the 17-day firebreak in Wales is disappointing for us all, but not surprising given news over the last few weeks.

‘Fortunately, businesses are far better prepared than they were in March and despite the restrictions, our data suggests consumer demand remains strong.

‘As we stressed during the original lockdown, retailers should avoid the temptation to slash their prices in order to entice car buyers, as it simply isn’t necessary and could have a lasting negative impact on the market.’

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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