Average used car price tops £20,000 but soaring prices are easing

  • Auto Trader data shows average used car price topped £20,000 last week
  • But firm countered prices are softening slighting
  • Volume cars recorded largest price growths, while electric and premium cars stuttered

Time 1:15 pm, March 24, 2022

The average price of a used car on Auto Trader rose by 28.5 per cent year-on-year last week, the company has said, but countered price growth is easing.

It means the average used car price is now £20,125 on the online marketplace – the 98th week of consecutive price rises.

Auto Trader said the figure was still ‘exceptionally strong’, but revealed average prices have dipped slightly from the 29 per cent year-on-year figure recorded in the closing weeks of February.

The company believes the easing can be attributed to the fact year-on-year prices are now beginning to overlap with previous highs, as well as a slight softening in consumer demand.

Demand has been affected by three consecutive storms that battered the UK and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine ‘diverting’ consumers’ attentions, it said.

Also, many consumers prioritised a holiday over purchasing a used car.

Despite this, said Auto Trader, there remains ‘plenty of appetite’ in the market.

Traffic to Auto Trader remains a consistent 1.4m daily users, the firm revealed.

Moreover, last week it took an average of just 25 days for stock to leave forecourts – that’s 29 per cent faster than the speed of sale recorded a year ago (35 days), but it’s the lowest weekly average in five months.

Auto Trader’s data and insights director, Richard Walker, said: ‘Given the headlines over recent weeks, a slight softening in what has been a long period of exceptionally strong consumer demand is to be expected.

‘However, it is not an indication of a market in reverse and anyone anticipating a sudden drop in prices will be disappointed.

‘Despite the potential headwinds, demand remains buoyant, which combined with the ongoing pressures on new and used car supply, which the current conflict in Ukraine may constrain even further, will ensure used car prices remain high for some time to come.’

And in a message to used car buyers, Walker said: ‘Increasing used car prices does have the potential to place added pressure on motorists who are already beginning to feel the effect of rising inflation, and the growing pinch at the fuel pumps.

‘However, if you already have a car to sell or to exchange, the impact should be fairly limited, as it’s not just the price of the car on retailers’ forecourts that are increasing, so too is the car on your driveway.’

Auto Trader also said Ford is the brand that’s recording the highest growth in average prices at 46 per cent year-on-year.

In fact, as listed below, volume brands performed well last year while electrics and premium cars lost value

The blue oval was followed by Suzuki (41 per cent), Skoda (41 per cent), Dacia (41 per cent), Vauxhall (39 per cent) and Nissan (38 per cent).

The largest used car price increases and contractions for last week are listed below.

Largest increases w/c March 14

1. Subaru Impreza

Average asking price: £12,432
Price change: 63.3 per cent

Seat Alhambra Nov 2016

2. Seat Alhambra

Average asking price: £19,055
Price change: 58.7 per cent

Ford S-Max

3. Ford S-Max

Average asking price: £15,356
Price change: 54.4 per cent

Toyota Auris

4. Toyota Auris

Average asking price: £13,064
Price change: 53 per cent

Skoda Yeti on the road

5. Skoda Yeti

Average asking price: £12,992
Price change: 51 per cent

Largest price contractions w/c March 14

Lexus UX300e

1. Lexus UX 300e

Average asking price: £43,560
Price change: -15.9 per cent

2. Volvo V90

Average asking price: £27,641
Price change: -12.4 per cent

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3. Mazda MX-30

Average asking price: £27,309
Price change: -11.8 per cent

4. Audi S5

Average asking price: £27,499
Price change: -4 per cent

5. BMW 8 Series

Average asking price: £56,934
Price change: -1.2 per cent

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. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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