Average used car price jumped 15.2% last week – and record price growth shows no signs of slowing down

  • Week commencing August 9 saw prices jump by 15.2 per cent on year-on-year and like-for-like basis
  • Huge uplift since forecourts reopened in April when average prices rose by 5.7 per cent
  • Auto Trader says its figures are backed up by data, not commentary

Time 4 weeks ago

The average used car price jumped by 15.2 per cent last week, new data shows, fuelling an expected positive period of ‘sustained’ used car demand.

Auto Trader said based on 400,000 cars currently advertised on its platform, week commencing August 9 saw a ‘massive’ 15.2 per cent year-on-year and like-for-like basis.

The latest figures marks 66 weeks of consecutive price growth, but also ‘a huge acceleration’ on the 5.7. per cent increase when forecourts reopened during the week of April 12.

The firm said it had seen more than 15.8m cross platform visits last week – a significant 32 per cent increase on the same week in 2019.

There was also an 18 per cent rise in the hours (2.3m) consumers spent researching their next car on the marketplace.

Auto Trader also said it took an average of 26 days for stock to leave forecourts last week, which is a 10 per cent drop on the April average.

The figures come as Auto Trader research conducted this month revealed that while nearly half (46 per cent) of new car buyers would not be prepared to wait for more than a month for their preferred vehicle, 74 per cent would be open to purchasing a used car alternative if their brand-new choice wasn’t available within their desired time-frame.

Auto Trader’s data and insights director, Richard Walker, said: ‘Used car demand is being fuelled by many factors, not least consumer confidence, low unemployment levels, concerns about safety on public transport, but now also the supply constraints we’re seeing in the new car market.

‘We estimate there are up to 600,000 new car transactions that won’t happen this year because of these constraints, with many consumers looking to used car alternatives.

‘This suggests we can expect a sustained period of positive used car demand.’

Walker added: ‘Based on the incredibly strong metrics we’re observing across the market we anticipate at least eight million used car transactions this year.

‘However, this doesn’t even begin to reclaim the sales we saw lost in 2020 due to the lockdowns; if used car supply remains robust, we’re confident there’s enough used car demand in the market to outperform our predictions.

‘Whilst our forecast is in contrast to the comparatively conservative predictions of other commentators, we have been, and will continue to be, led by data rather than opinion.

‘This would be our advice to retailers: know your market and know your data, and you will be in the best possible position to respond, whatever the market context.’

Highest price movements

1. Jaguar XK
Supply: 76
Average asking price: £26,330
Price change: 51.6%

2. Audi RS3
Supply: 260
Average asking price: £40,868
Price change: 35.3%

3. Mazda MX-5
Supply: 721
Average asking price: £13,052
Price change: 34.5%

4. Mitsubishi Shogun
Supply: 142
Average asking price: £17,833
Price change: 32.2%

5. Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer
Supply: 70
Average asking price: £22,692
Price change: 31.2%

Lowest price movements

1. DS 3 Crossback
Supply: 227
Average asking price: £21,246
Price change: -8.7%

2. DS 4
Supply: 62
Average asking price: £8,655
Price change: -7.6%

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3. BMW 8 Series
Supply: 95
Average asking price: £59,914
Price change: -7.2%

4. Fiat Grande Punto
Supply: 147
Average asking price: £1,541
Price change: -6.1%

5. Chevrolet Aveo
Supply: 54
Average asking price: £2,020
Price change: -6.1%

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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