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Used car prices remain high but car dealers told to prepare for more buyers in January

Time 9 months ago

Average used car prices were up again in November compared to last year, showing resilience again despite a difficult market. 

Auto Traders latest figures for the month have shown that customer interest in still strong with prices up 8.5 per cent from November 2019 but noted that this demonstrated a slight softening from the 8.6 per cent increase seen in October.

Daily unique visitors to Auto Trader also increase 15 per cent in November but the car classifieds platform reporter a 20 per cent increase in visitors in the week when English showrooms reopened (December 2 – 7).


It is now urging its dealer customers to make the most of free advertising on the platform as car buyers looking to spend in January begin their search today.

Already, the average number of leads being sent to car dealers daily grew 19 per cent during the first week of showrooms reopening – higher than the 13 per cent increase year-on-year recorded during the lockdown.

Auto Trader reports that typically January compared to December sees a dramatic increase of activity, as many buyers put off buying a new car until after Christmas.

The biggest growth in daily leads in has been recorded in new car and commercial vehicles, up 92.5 per cent and 74 per cent respectively, since the beginning of November.


Cars aged one to five years old have seen particularly strong demand, with daily leads up 27 per cent year-on-year for this segment.

Auto Trader’s data and insights director Richard Walker said: ‘From the behaviours and trends we’re tracking on our marketplace, as well as the anecdotal feedback we’re hearing from our retailer partners, the latest restrictions have done little to dampen the levels of consumer demand.

‘It’s very reassuring to see that as we approach the key sales period of the year, the market is in such a strong position.

‘However, with 53 per cent of January’s buyers researching for their next car in December, it’s critical retailers capitalise on the opportunity now, and ensure their stock is visible to the millions of car buyers visiting our marketplace.

He added: ‘As part of our ongoing support to the industry in these exceptional circumstances, there’s no charge to advertise new or used cars on Auto Trader during December, so we urge all of our customers to give themselves the very best start to 2021 by showcasing all their available cars.’

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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