ACCORDING to the Auto Trader Retail Price Index, the average price of a used car advertised by retailers increased modestly in September to an average of £13,096, from £13,001 in August.
Stripping out the impact of mix and changes in the types of vehicle entering or leaving the market, like-for-like advertised prices contracted by 2.3 per cent year-on-year.
This, in part, is a result of the market corrections made to trade valuations over the summer months which are now flowing through to the consumer market.
Like-for-like prices for diesel and petrol vehicles dropped by 0.9 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively, whereas alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) continued on their upward trajectory at 5.5 per cent year-on-year growth.
Petrol vehicles have an average advertised price of £11,687, diesel vehicles £14,274 and AFVs are almost double the value of their ICE counterparts at £21,643.
Despite the drop in like-for-like advertised prices, there are pockets of growth in the form of SUVs and AFVs, with electric vehicles (EVs) specifically driving the majority of growth.
Since October last year there’s been a 59 per cent increase in searches specifically for EVs on Auto Trader’s marketplace. SUVs have increased in popularity too; share of search for the body type in September was 18 per cent compared with 16 per cent over the same period last year.
Karolina Edwards-Smadja, director of commercial products at Auto Trader, said: ‘While like-for-like advertised used car prices appear to have declined, the overall average remains stable because there’s a greater variation of stock in the market.
‘EVs and SUVs – which are more expensive cars – are more popular and as increasing numbers enter the used car market, this increases the mix of market stock which impacts average prices.
‘Stock mix isn’t the only variable impacting prices of course. September brought with it new car plate changes and so to prepare for more part-exchanges coming onto the their forecourts, retailers focused on clearing existing stock which meant good deals for consumers.’
The percentage of searches by fuel type changed again in September. Petrol cars are still the most popular, accounting for 49 per cent of all fuel searches – down from 50 per cent last month. Diesel cars have increased to 43 per cent (up from 42 per cent last month) while seven per cent of searches by fuel type are for AFVs.