Average used car prices contract but AFVs continue upward trend and EVs enjoy record growth

Time 9:55 am, September 30, 2019

THE average price of a used car advertised by retailers dipped slightly last month to an average of £13,001, according to the latest Auto Trader Retail Price Index – a slight fall on the £13,115 recorded in July.

After removing the impact of changes in the types of vehicle entering or leaving the market, like-for-like advertised prices in August contracted by 1.3 per cent year-on-year.

Used car advertised prices have been affected by the market corrections to trade valuations which were made through the summer, said Auto Trader. The marginal decreases in residual values follow the automotive boom of new car registrations in 2015 and 2016, which led to a large volume of stock for cars in the three-to-five-year age range. Cars aged 10 to 15 years still show like-for-like price growth (0.8 per cent).

Like-for-like prices for diesel and petrol vehicles fell by 1.7 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively, while alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) continued their upward trend, recording 5.7 per cent year-on-year growth in August. EVs, however, recorded unprecedented growth, rising by 30.4 per cent to £25,111 – their highest figure ever.

Petrol vehicles have an average advertised price of £11,556, diesels £14,202 and AFVs £21,782.

Despite the slight dip in sticker prices, the demand for second-hand cars remains solid, as reflected in the number of searches on the Auto Trader marketplace. In August, searches for used and ‘nearly used’ vehicles saw a 4 per cent year-on-year increase.

Source: Auto Trader

Karolina Edwards-Smadja, pictured, director of commercial products at Auto Trader, said: ‘Used car prices will naturally fluctuate, but over the past few months there’s been a variety of unprecedented factors affecting average prices, not least the realignment of market values over the summer, which resulted in some cars having up to £1,000 knocked off their sticker price.

‘Supply and demand is less of an issue, but we shouldn’t entirely dismiss the impact the spike in new car registrations three to four years ago has had. Add to the mix the ongoing economic uncertainty and there’s clearly been an unusual amount of pressure placed on second-hand car values.

‘It will be interesting to see whether these factors have any further influence during the closing quarter of 2019.’

The percentage of searches by fuel type changed slightly in August. Petrol cars were still the most popular, accounting for half of all fuel searches (50 per cent), diesel cars increased to 42 per cent from 41 per cent, while seven per cent of searches by fuel type are for AFVs.

The Auto Trader Retail Price Index combines and analyses data from some 500,000 trade used car listings every day, as well as additional dealer forecourt and website data – manufacturer, fleet and leasing disposal prices, in addition to pricing data from over 3,000 car dealership websites.

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