Average used car prices hit record highs as rising inflation takes hold

  • Average price of a used car was £20,340 last week – a 29 per cent like-for-like rise
  • It was the 93rd consecutive week for price increases
  • Data comes as Auto Trader boss tells Car Dealer prices won’t fall considerably for another year
  • Price increases led by Seat Alhambra

Time 12:29 pm, February 16, 2022

Used car prices have hit an all-time high on Auto Trader, new figures show.

The average price of a second-hand car was £20,340 last week (Feb 7-13) – a 29 per cent like-for-like increase on the same week in 2021.

It comes as the company’s boss exclusively told the Car Dealer Podcast used cars prices will not fall significantly for another year.

The latest data shows last week was the 93rd consecutive week for used car price increases.

In the last six months alone, the average price of a used car on Auto Trader has increased over £4,200 – up from £16,096 in mid-August, at which point the rate of growth was almost half of what it is today (15 per cent vs 29 per cent).

The top 10 cars to have risen the most in value last week is listed below.

Auto Trader said the acceleration in prices was as a result of chip shortages, the imbalance of supply and demand and also rising inflation.

Last week it took an average of just 25 days for stock to leave forecourts.

That figure is down marginally on the average 26 days recorded in pre-Covid February 2020, but it’s 30 per cent faster than the speed of sale recorded in 2021, said Auto Trader.

Auto Trader’s data and insights director, Richard Walker, said: ‘Although inflation will always pose a potential headwind for demand, based on the positive consumer metrics we’re tracking across the retail market, as well as broader economic factors such as the falling unemployment rate and record number of job vacancies, we don’t anticipate any significant easing any time soon.

‘Accordingly, with such strong levels of demand, and no end in sight for the current supply challenges, we can expect the strong year-on-year price growth to continue well into the middle of the year.

‘The growth in used car prices does have the potential to place an additional squeeze on consumers already facing the pressure of the rising cost of living.

‘However, it’s worth noting that it’s not just the price of the car on the forecourt that has increased – so too has the car on the driveway.

‘It means for most car buyers, if you have one to sell or to exchange, the higher sticker prices should be relative.’

Largest price increases, February 7-13

Seat Alhambra Nov 2016

1. Seat Alhambra

Average asking price: £18,645
Price change: 55.0 per cent

Ford S-Max

2. Ford S-Max

Average asking price: £15,066
Price change: 52.6 per cent

Skoda Yeti on the road

3. Skoda Yeti

Average asking price: £13,173
Price change: 51.5 per cent

Toyota Auris

4. Toyota Auris

Average asking price: £13,299
Price change: 49.3 per cent

5. Renault Grand Scenic

Average asking price: £10,655
Price change: 48.6 per cent

Ford Grand C Max

6. Ford Grand C-Max

Average asking price: £12,555
Price change: 48.5 per cent

7. Skoda Octavia

Average asking price: £16,876
Price change: 48.2 per cent

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Ford Galaxy 2015

8. Ford Galaxy

Average asking price: £17,167
Price change: 48.1 per cent

Land Rover Defender side on

9. Land Rover Defender 110

Average asking price: £82,927
Price change: 48.0 per cent

10. Ford Focus

Average asking price: £15,572
Price change: 46.9 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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