Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s director of data and insight,Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s director of data and insight,

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Used car prices defy lockdown restrictions to go up for 41st consecutive week

Time 3 months ago

Used car prices went up by 6.5 per cent last week against the same time last year – their 41st consecutive week of growth.

That’s according to Auto Trader, which said today (Feb 19) that its data showed the current lockdown was having less of an effect on demand than previous ones, even though there was some continued pressure on supply.

Its findings were based on the circa 514,000 vehicles advertised on its marketplace for the week of February 8 to 14, which saw 14.2m visits – a year-on-year increase of 4.5 per cent,

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People also spent a total of 139.6m minutes on the website, which was up 4.4 per cent on 2020.

An average of 2,448 retailers made daily price adjustments last week – just four fewer than the same time last year.

A total of 17,608 vehicles were repriced, with the average reduction being £290 and indicative, said Auto Trader, of retailers holding firm with their pricing strategies.

Director of data and insight Richard Walker, pictured, said: ‘Whilst the current challenges are clear, we continue to see reasons for positivity, and expect to see another period of healthy retail demand once restrictions are eased.

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Positive sentiment

‘In addition to the strong consumer metrics we’re recording on our marketplace, there are a number of key external factors which will help drive strong automotive demand post-lockdown.


‘These include positive sentiment towards car ownership, the ongoing aversion to public transport and reduced spending in other retail categories.

‘What’s more, the latest Bank of England findings show average household finances are better off than they were pre-pandemic.

‘This reflects our own research, which suggests consumers’ confidence in being able to afford their next car was at its highest level since we began tracking it in January 2020.’

Movements in petrol and diesel prices largely reflected the wider market, with both showing robust rates of growth, although they were slightly slower on previous weeks.

The average price of a used diesel car went up by 8.7 per cent year on year last week – a very slight decrease on the 8.8 per cent of the week before.

Used petrol prices rose by six per cent versus  6.4 per cent the previous week.

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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