‘Pent-up demand’ still driving used car market as prices rose in August

Time 11 months ago

Used car prices rose by more than 15 per cent in August with ‘pent-up’ still driving the market, new figures suggest.

Cox Automotive’s latest market tracker found the average wholesale price for used cars rose by 15.6 per cent in August compared to the same month last year, and by one per cent compared to July 2020.

The average used car price is now £6,549.

Mileage decreased too in August, with Cox Automotive finding average mileage had dropped by 2,000 miles compared to August 2019 to 61,310.

The firm also reports first-time conversions increased compared to 2019, with August 2020 rising to 82.1 per cent compared to 81.5 per cent in 2019.

Average age of stock also rose 0.7 per cent to 5.7 years.

Philip Nothard, Cox Automotive UK’s customer insight & strategy director, said the used car market remained buoyant with pent-up demand outstripping supply.


‘Auction values show signs of stabilising, with an average 96.77 per cent of Cap clean following 96.92 per cent in July, although this performance reflects the strength of the used car market with a +2.3 per cent increase on the same period August last year (94.56 per cent),’ he said.

‘Data from NextGear Capital, the stock-funding arm of Cox Automotive, also suggests similar trends, with the average price funded in August increasing to £9,692.67 – and increase of 3.8 per cent month-on-month.

‘Furthermore, the average age of stock rose by 0.7 per cent to 5.7 years, implying the potential increasing diversity of dealers’ stock in both age and mileage. This also mirrors the broader used car market data, which shows that average mileage increased marginally 0.7 per cent to 54,756.’

Nothard added: ‘Order banks are favourable for the September plate according to many of the large groups which is great to hear given the challenges that the new car market has faced in recent months. However, this is very much brand specific and dependent on vehicles arriving on time.

‘As we’ve seen for several years due to the external influences that the sector has faced, we need to look at the combined results from August, September and October to form accurate annual comparisons on market performance.

‘However, I think many people within the industry are wondering how long the pent-up demand will last, with many cautious about the final quarter of 2020.’

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.

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