Price in window of a used carPrice in window of a used car

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Retail price of used cars falling but demand is still ‘robust’

  • Current average retail price of used cars is £17,492, says Auto Trader
  • That’s down 2.3% year on year and 1% down on October
  • Used electric cars are selling in just 25 days
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Time 10:17 am, November 22, 2023

Customer demand and sales of used cars are staying ‘robust’ as retail prices fall, says Auto Trader.

The online marketplace said its data showed that prices fell by 1% on average up to November 15 versus October, with the current average price of a used car standing at £17,492.

That largely follows pre-pandemic trends, it said, adding that all segments had enjoyed growth on last year’s levels.


The news came in the wake of our report on Monday in which Cox Automotive’s Phil Nothard said a fall in used car trade prices had taken the industry by surprise.

Auto Trader said that based on 800,000 daily pricing observations, its data also showed strong price rises ‘in a significant proportion of the used retail market’.

Cars older than five years increased by 2.2% year on year at the November mid-month point, while those that were more than 10 years old were ‘up a very robust 8.4%’.


However, the average price of cars aged below five years were down 4.5% year on year, partly because of an increased supply of younger vehicles over recent months, as well as more pressure from new car deals.

As a result, the overall year-on-year total market figure was down 2.3% so far this month.

But the used car market is still resilient, said Auto Trader, with current consumer demand increasing year on year in all segments, including different fuel types.

In total, demand is up 6.9% on last November 2022, while supply as determined by stock levels on Auto Trader is up just 3.2%.

As a result, Auto Trader’s Market Health metric – which determines the potential profitability of used cars based on real-time supply and demand dynamics – is up by 3.6% versus last year.

And while petrol and diesel cars recorded relatively conservative year-on-year levels of growth at 2.7% and 0.7% respectively, interest in low-emission cars on Auto Trader has shot up, it said.

By November 15, demand levels for plug-in hybrid and full/mild hybrids were up 37.6% and 51.1% respectively.

Biggest used car price rises

Auto Trader’s 10 used cars with the highest year-on-year price rises at mid-November

Suzuki Jimny

1. Suzuki Jimny

  • Average asking price: £11,787
  • Increase: 13.6%

2. VW Beetle

  • Average asking price: £8,150
  • Increase: 12.7%

3. Peugeot Partner Tepee

  • Average asking price: £9,744
  • Increase: 8.7%

4. Dacia Sandero Stepway

  • Average asking price: £9,764
  • Increase: 8.5%

5. Dacia Sandero

  • Average asking price: £8,353
  • Increase: 8.3%

6. Toyota Avensis

  • Average asking price: £5,672
  • Increase: 8.1%

7. Fiat Panda

  • Average asking price: £6,402
  • Increase: 8.o%

8. Renault Scenic

  • Average asking price: £5,755
  • Increase: 7.8%

9. Mercedes-Benz M-Class

  • Average asking price: £11,896
  • Increase: 6.9%

10. Volvo V70

  • Average asking price: £7,235
  • Increase: 6.7%

Meanwhile, consumer engagement for pure-electric cars on Auto Trader is up 69.1% on November last year, which it said had been driven by both improved affordability and availability.

On average, used cars have been taking 31 days to sell in November – the same speed as the past three years but faster than the 33 days of pre-pandemic November 2019.

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Electric cars have been taking the shortest amount of time to sell at 25 days.

Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s director of data and insights, said: ‘Although the younger end of the market is being squeezed by increasing supply levels and renewed pressure from new car offers, it’s promising to see that consumer engagement from our 10 million monthly visitors remains robust across all segments of the market.

‘Used car supply is increasing, but critically it remains behind demand, which makes any sudden or significant drop in retail prices unlikely.

‘With a large proportion of the market still recording strong price growth, car buyers are clearly prepared to pay the retail market value, and so I would urge retailers not to risk profit potential or a self-fulfilling prophecy by making knee-jerk reactions based on trends in trade values.

‘Cars continue to sell, and importantly, quickly. By buying and selling fast, there’s little time for small changes in value to be felt.

‘So, my advice remains unchanged: price to the market to sell quickly, and don’t give up your profits unnecessarily – follow the data.’

Biggest used car price falls

Auto Trader’s 10 cars with the biggest year-on-year price drops at mid-November

Taycan

1. Porsche Taycan

  • Average asking price: £85,014
  • Decrease: 24.6%

2. Citroen e-C4

  • Average asking price: £21,734
  • Decrease: 23.3%

3. Tesla Model S

  • Average asking price: £33,867
  • Decrease: 23.3%

4. Vauxhall Corsa-e

  • Average asking price: £18,509
  • Decrease: 21.7%

5. Audi Q4 e-tron

  • Average asking price: £42,746
  • Decrease: 21.6%

6. Hyundai Ioniq

  • Average asking price: £15,975
  • Decrease: 21.6%

7. Volkswagen ID.4

  • Average asking price: £36,797
  • Decrease: 20.9%

8. Fiat 500e

  • Average asking price: £20,959
  • Decrease: 20.8%

9. Skoda Enyaq

  • Average asking price: £36,366
  • Decrease: 16.5%

10. DS 3 Crossback

  • Average asking price: £16,346
  • Decrease: 15.2%
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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