Used car prices continue to set records as average price topped nearly £18k last week

  • Average used car price was 18.6 per cent up year-on-year last week, says Auto Trader
  • Cross platform visits were more 15.5m – up 33 per cent on same period in 2019
  • Dealers traditionally would be lowering prices by around £300, last week it was £39 more

Time 1:50 pm, September 17, 2021

The average price of a used car increased a whopping 18.6 per cent year-on-year last week, new figures show.

The latest Auto Trader data reveals that the average used car advertised on the platform during week commencing September 6 was £17,754 – or 1.2 per cent higher than the week before.

Overall, last week saw a three-fold increase on the average used car price recorded during the week of April 12 when forecourts reopened after the third national lockdown.

Consumer demand is still driving the price rises, says the firm, as its Market Insight tool was up 22.5 per cent (based on searches and advert views on Auto Trader) last week, when compared to the same period in 2019.

The growth is reflected in the more than 15.5m cross platform visits to Auto Trader last week, which marks a massive 33 per cent increase on 2019.

There was also a 21 per cent rise in the hours (2.4m) consumers spent researching their next car on its marketplace.

The high levels of demand is also shown by how quickly stock is selling on dealer forecourts, said Auto Trader.

Last week, it took an average of 24 days for stock to leave forecourts, which is an 11 per cent acceleration on the August average of 27 days.

Just like in previous weeks, supply is also helping to drive up prices.

Supply levels were down 13.3 per cent last week compared to the same week in 2019.

The Auto Trader data also shows over 11 per cent of the nearly new cars available in the market – those aged up to 12 months – are currently more expensive than their brand-new equivalents.

This has accelerated from around four per cent at the start of the year, and six per cent in April.

However, for a handful of brands, including Mercedes-Benz (29 per cent), Peugeot (24 per cent), Lexus (22 per cent), Dacia (21 per cent) and Citroen (20 per cent), over 20 per cent of their respective nearly new stock is currently priced above new, while Land Rover and Subaru have 30 per cent.

Auto Trader’s data and insights director, Richard Walker, said: ‘After months of continued acceleration, we’re seeing yet another record set for price growth rates fuelled by the unprecedented levels of consumer demand in the market.

‘And whilst inflation, tax rises and the end of furlough do present potential future risks, there are a number of factors which give us confidence, not least the growth in motor transport levels, solid household finances, consumer confidence, and the increased appetite for car ownership seen in particular by the increasing mix of younger car buyers.

‘This, coupled with the ongoing supply challenges in both new and used cars, means that we don’t see any reason for this growth to ease significantly anytime soon.’

Auto Trader added it is seeing fewer retailers adjusting prices on fewer vehicles.

More significant however, it said, is the fact retailers are currently adjusting prices up, rather than down in response to the record demand.

The company said that of the 2,225 retailers who made daily price adjustments last week (329 fewer than in the same period in 2019), the average price adjustment was an increase of £39.

This time two years ago, retailers were making an average reduction of £334.

On average, franchise retailers increased prices across their forecourts by £81 last week, whilst independent retailers increased by an average of £15.

Greatest used car price increases w/c Sept 6

Jaguar XKR 2010

1. Jaguar XK

Average asking price: £27,155

Price change: 49.6%

2. Hyundai i30

Average asking price: £11,821

Price change: 36.6%

Jeep Grand Cherokee - 2012 model

3. Jeep Grand Cherokee

Average asking price: £21,717

Price change: 34.7%

4. Mazda MX-5

Average asking price: £13,555

Price change: 34.1%

5. Mitsubishi Shogun

Average asking price: £17,678

Price change: 33.0%

6. Audi RS3

Average asking price: £40,538

Price change: 32.2%

7. Jaguar XKR

Average asking price: £26,288

Price change: 31.5%

8. Kia Sorento

Average asking price: £18,401

Price change: 30.3%

9. Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer

Average asking price: £22,142

Price change: 30.3%

Land Rover Discovery 4

10. Land Rover Discovery 4

Average asking price: £23,214

Price change: 28.7%

Greatest used car price decreases w/c Sept 6


10. Hyundai ix35

Average asking price: £7,273

Price change: -2.7%

Jaguar I-Pace electric car on the road

9. Jaguar I-Pace

Average asking price: £56,657

Price change: -3.0%

8. Mercedes-Benz GL Class

Average asking price: £17,958

Price change: -3.2%

7. Bentley Bentayga

Average asking price: £111,875

Price change: -3.4%

6. DS 3 Crossback

Average asking price: £21,631

Price change -3.7%

5. Jaguar X-Type

Average asking price: £3,428

Price change: -5.6%

4. Citroen DS4

Average asking price: £5,398

Price change: -5.6%

3. Fiat Punto Evo

Average asking price: £2,413

Price change: -7.4%

Audi e-tron in white

2. Audi e-tron

Average asking price: £61,834

Price change: -8.4%

1. Audi S4 Avant

Average asking price: £30,844

Price change: -29.2%

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. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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