Supercar prices falling but demand for luxury used cars rising fast as window shoppers browse during lockdown

Time 1 year ago

Demand for used luxury and supercars has rocketed as window shopping during lockdown has continued well into June.

Web searches for used McLarens have skyrocketed 249 per cent this month compared to the same month last year, with many other luxury brands also rising exponentially.

Data from Auto Trader, exclusively revealed to Car Dealer Magazine, points to a trend of growing interest in luxury brands despite the downturn in the economy.


The data backs up a report by Car Dealer that found many small business directors were using cash from their Bounce Back Loans to fund new supercar purchases.

Auto Trader demand, based on the number of ad searches and ad views on the UK’s largest classified advertising website, show that in June demand compared to last year was up:

  • McLaren – up 249.4%
  • Lotus – up 100.7%
  • Ferrari – up 79.0%
  • Tesla – up 78.8%
  • Aston Martin – up 61.9%
  • Porsche – up 58.7%

The McLaren rise could be to do with the fact one two year old 720S sold for half its original value in an online auction at the end of April.

The supercar sold in a Collecting Cars auction for £124,500 – £120,000 less than the owner paid for it just two years before that and is likely to have fuelled searches in the brand from inquisitive car fans. 

However, Auto Trader thinks it could be more to do with browsers searching for car porn to wile away the lockdown.

Richard Walker, Data and Insights Director, Auto Trader said: ‘We often see a spike in views and searches of premium vehicles during the festive period as people choose to spend their extra free time admiring their dream cars. 

‘With so many people on furlough, it’s not surprising to see a similar trend as a consequence of the lockdown period. 

‘However, it’s interesting to note that rather than slowing down with the reopening of showrooms in England and Northern Ireland, demand has accelerated even further in June.’

Walker believes this is because many of those admirers have been joined by real buyers looking to splash out on a luxury car.

He added: ‘It suggests that in addition to the window shoppers, the market may be experiencing an increase in genuine in-market buyers looking to splash out on high-end cars.’

The surge in demand for luxury cars has also been combined with a seasonal drop in prices for these cars, which is playing into the hands of these buyers.

Prices for most luxury brands were down in May compared to the same month last year with Lamborghinis dropping the most – down nine per cent.

  • Lamborghini -9.0%
  • Jaguar -4.3%
  • Maserati -3.40%
  • Bentley -3.0%
  • Porsche -2.30%
  • McLaren -2.20%
  • Ferrari -1.2%
  • Aston Martin -0.4%

The figures show all supercar prices – taken from Auto Trader average listing prices – were down on the same month last year. 

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Walker added: ‘While average prices of some used premium brands are recording a slight decline compared with last year, it’s largely in line with what we’ve observed with the wider used car market, with prices contracting slightly year-on-year, before accelerating in response to the huge increase in consumer demand. 

‘The rate of contraction of these brands has been slowing during the lockdown period, which is often another indicator of growing demand in the market.’

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James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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