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Used car retail prices remained buoyant in May, reports Auto Trader

Time 11:22 am, June 26, 2019

USED car prices in the UK continue to grow despite Brexit and economic uncertainty, Auto Trader reported today.

The rate of growth has slowed to 0.8 per cent, however, the slowest pace since December 2016. The average sticker price now stands at £12,775.

Latest figures from the Auto Trader Retail Price Index show that diesel cars had the slowest growth rate in May at 0.4 per cent and an average sticker price of £14,163.


Petrol cars saw price growth of one per cent, and an average retail price of £11,174.

Meanwhile, alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) continue to outdo both powertrains with 4.8 per cent growth and an average sticker price of £21,663 – nearly double that of their internal combustion engine counterparts.

Specifically, electric vehicles (EVs) are the stand-out performer. Price growth is in double digits at 11.8 per cent, and they continue to rise in average price, currently standing at £23,771, the highest figure on record.

Less severe

Karolina Edwards-Smajda, pictured, Auto Trader’s director of commercial products, said: ‘There has been much rhetoric around the used car market in recent weeks, namely that prices have plummeted. However, Auto Trader data tells a different story. Prices are still growing, it’s just that the rate of growth is slower than we’re accustomed to.’


Looking at circa three-year-old stock with around 60,000 miles on the clock, it’s clear seasonal trends have an impact, driven by the March registration plate change. Month-on-month impact on price is down 3.56 per cent which is less severe than the level seen last year and the year before.

Edwards-Smajda continued: ‘There is a clear trend every year following the September and March plate changes, resulting in an increase in three-year-old, 60k vehicles. The used car market has an influx of stock, often as a result of consumers trading in their car for a new one.

‘Following the March plate change, the volume of three-year-old cars reaches its peak between March and June. This saturates the market and prices become more competitive – which is what we observed happening in May. This is part of the annual cycle, and it’s a trend we see every year.’

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Dave Brown's avatar

Dave, production editor on Car Dealer Magazine, is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience in the worlds of newspapers, magazines and public relations.

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