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Dealers urged to stay firm as new lockdown shows it’s having little effect on used car prices

Time 4 months ago

Lockdown is having little effect on used car prices with the average retail price growing by 7.7 per cent year on year on a like-for-lie basis – down slightly from the 7.8 per cent of the week before.

That’s according to Auto Trader data based on the circa 510,000 vehicles that it’s currently advertising and still means there’s been 37 consecutive weeks of price growth.

Supply-and-demand dynamics are continuing to drive the increase, said Auto Trader, which added that it saw a four per cent rise in visits during the week of January 11 to 17 and growing to 11.4 per cent year on year at the weekend.

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It saw a daily average of 1.3 million users, with a 9.4 per cent year on year increase in the number of leads sent to retailers.

An average of 2,325 retailers made daily price adjustments – 175 fewer than the same time in 2020 and less than the pre-lockdown average of 2,500 to 3,000.

However, 18,078 vehicles were repriced during the week, which Auto Trader said was within the levels of 17,500 to 24,000 that are usually seen during normal trading conditions.

The average price reduction was £325, while pre-Covid it was between £250 and £550 per day.

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Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s director of data and insight, said: ‘Nearly three weeks after the prime minister announced the third lockdown, we have a much clearer view of what impact the new restrictions are having.

‘Once again, as we’ve seen consistently over the last year with the various measures that have been introduced across the UK, it’s done little to dampen consumer demand, which has helped used car prices to continue recording exceptionally high rates of growth.


‘This price growth, which we’ve been tracking for close to eight months, has helped drive robust profit margins, and for this reason we continue to urge retailers to hold firm.

‘Whilst retailers are currently limited to online retail channels, with the current levels of supply and demand in the market, along with the margins available, we don’t see any reasons to suggest a different approach to pricing.’

The average price of a used diesel rose by 9.5 per cent. Demand for the fuel type fell by 6.4 per cent, but supply levels fell even more at 9.9 per cent.

Levels of demand for used petrol went up by 3.1 per cent year on year but supply levels rose by 7.7 per cent last week.

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Despite the imbalance in favour of supply, there was little impact on price growth, with the average price going up by 7.5 per cent.

Hatchbacks and estates recorded the highest rate of growth – up 8.8 per cent year on year and 8.6 per cent year on year respectively.

SUVs stayed the most in demand, though, rising by 12.2 per cent, which helped fuel a 7.0 per cent price growth.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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