Used car price rises see slowdown in March but there’s ‘no crash on the way’

  • Used car prices rose just 0.1 per cent last month – the slowest rise since November 2020
  • But despite softening, Auto Trader says no price crash is on the way
  • Many used car models still recording huge increases in price compared to last year

Time 9:11 am, April 8, 2022

Used car price rises are starting to slow with a tiny price rise in March the lowest recorded since November 2020.

Auto Trader’s latest data, which looks at the prices car dealers are charging on its platform, shows prices rose just 0.1 per cent last month.

The figures come from analysis of 900,000 cars advertised for sale on Auto Trader.

Despite the slowing pace of rises, prices are still up a whopping 32 per cent compared to this time last year.

And Auto Trader data expert Richard Walker says there is no used car price crash on the horizon.

He said: ‘Although used car price growth and consumer demand is softening, it’s important to put it into context. 

‘Against a backdrop of once in a lifetime levels of demand in 2021, it’s easy to misinterpret the data as a market in decline, but a quick look under the bonnet reveals that any suggestion prices are about to tumble is unfounded. 

‘Despite growing economic pressures, the appetite for new and used cars remains above pre-pandemic levels, which combined with the ongoing squeeze in supply, will keep used car prices strong for the foreseeable future.’

One in five nearly new cars (aged up to a year) are still priced above their new car equivalents.

In the last year the average price of cars up to one year old has increased £8,700, says Auto Trader.

And despite these prices, nearly new cars are selling on average 22 days faster last month than in March 2021.

New car supply has been severely impacted by a shortage in semiconductors and other parts and this has pushed the cost of nearly new models up.

Many consumers are choosing to buy used as they can get their car now, rather than wait more than six months for a new model to arrive.

Auto Trader added: ‘Although there are signs of a slight softening in demand, influenced in part by the rising cost of living, comparisons with last year are distorted by the strong on-site demand recorded in March 2021 as buyers edged towards the end of lockdown.  

‘However, despite potential economic headwinds, there continues to be plenty of consumer appetite in the market, which is evident in the fact that demand is up against pre-pandemic levels (circa 4 per cent on March 2019) and traffic to the Auto Trader marketplace remains very strong with circa 69 million cross platform visits in March.’

Older used cars are continuing to rocket in value, added Auto Trader.

It said three to five year old cars are up 35.8 per cent compared to a year ago.

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While five to 10 year old used cars are also up 32.3 per cent compared to this time last year.

Top 10 Used Car Price Risers

These are the used cars that have grown the most in value when compared to this time last year. 

1. Seat Alhambra

Seat Alhambra Nov 2016

  • Avg price: £18,895
  • Up 58.1%

2. Ford S-Max

S Max

  • Avg price: £15,471
  • Up 54.8%

3. Toyota Auris

Toyota Auris

  • Avg price: £13,063
  • Up: 51.6%

4. Renault Scenic

  • Avg price: £8,162
  • Up 51.4%

5. Skoda Yeti

Skoda Yeti on the road

  • Avg price: £12,955
  • Up: 51.0%

6. Hyundai i30

Hyundai i30 N prices revealed

  • Avg price: £12,468
  • Up 50.6%

7. Skoda Octavia

Skoda Octavia

  • Avg price: £16,468
  • Up 50.0%

8. Citroen Berlingo

  • Avg price: £13,167
  • Up: 49.9%

9. Ford Galaxy

Ford Galaxy 2015

  • Avg price: £16,247
  • Up 49.5%

10. Ford Grand C-Max

  • Avg price: £12,536
  • Up: 49.4%

Car Dealer produced a special investigation into used car prices – we looked at why they went up, and what could happen next. You can read it here.

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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