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Used car prices slipped again in October but demand is still ‘robust’ – Auto Trader

  • Average retail price of a used car was £17,641 in October
  • That was down 1.7% year-on-year and 0.2% on September
  • Price softening but demand is still strong
  • Younger aged cars and EVs affecting headline figure
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Time 12:20 pm, November 6, 2023

Used car retail prices dropped for the second month running, but demand from buyers is still ‘robust’.

That’s the latest from Auto Trader and its most recent Retail Price Index, which shows the average retail price of a used car softened last month to £17,641, down 1.7% year-on-year and 0.2% on September.

The data, published today (Nov 6), backs up sentiments expressed by the firm’s chief commercial officer recently on Car Dealer Live.


During the broadcast (which you watch at the top of this story), Catherine Faiers told Car Dealer the price softening is matched with nervousness among dealers.

‘At this time of year we would expect to see some seasonal softening, but I do think it’s a bit more than that,’ she said.

‘We’re seeing a nervousness among retailers – some of that I think is driven by the trade [pricing] projections; and also concerns over the level of supply growth in the new car market and more of a return to volume, short-cycle business and discounting cars.


‘Couple that with some worries over how and where consumer demand might trend, we’re seeing more nervousness than we might have seen.’

The latest drop of 1.7% is the largest in over 43 months, said the company.

But ‘context is critical’, it was keen to point out.

Demand is still strong and Auto Trader’s proxy sold data suggests transactions were up circa 2% year-on-year in October.

The company said it is even seeing used car supply beginning to pick back up, with current levels up 2.3% on October 2022 – the highest rate of growth in 12 months.

The level of supply, though, remains below the levels of consumer demand growth, which is up a healthy 6.8% year-on-year, the firm said.

The latest Retail Index also suggested a 7.6% fall in prices of younger used cars aged between one and three years old, and increased supply of younger EVs is ‘holding back’ the overall headline figure.

Commenting on the latest Index, Auto Trader’s director of data and insights, Richard Walker, said: ‘Although October marked the second month of contraction in headline figures, as always context is important.

‘Transactions are stable, consumer demand is robust, engagement is increasing, cars are selling quickly, and there are still segments of the market recording strong price growth.

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‘These are reasons to feel positive, and as always, we’d urge dealers to be led by these consumer trends and the broader retail environment to inform stocking and pricing decisions.

‘With 14% of used cars advertised on Auto Trader priced below their market value in October, potential profit is still being left on the table. In such a nuanced market it’s essential to be guided by a vehicle view, not a forecourt view.’

Top 5 used cars that rose the most in value in October

1. Volkswagen Beetle
Oct 23 average asking price: £8,010
Price change (YoY): 12.2%
Price change (MoM): -2.2%

2. Peugeot Partner Teepee
Oct 23 average asking price: £9,752
Price change (YoY): 10.3%
Price change (MoM): 0.9%

3. Dacia Sandero Stepway
Oct 23 average asking price: £9,810
Price change (YoY): 8.9%
Price change (MoM): 0.0%

4. Mercedes-Benz V-Class
Oct 23 average asking price: £12,002
Price change (YoY): 8.7%
Price change (MoM): -1.0%

5. Volvo V70
Oct 23 average asking price: £7,226
Price change (YoY): 8.4%
Price change (MoM): -0.1%

Top 5 used cars that fell the most in value in October

1. BMW i3
Oct 23 average asking price: £17,357
Price change (YoY): -24.8%
Price change (MoM): 1.2%

2. Renault Zoe
Oct 23 average asking price: £14,225
Price change (YoY): -24.6%
Price change (MoM): 3.4%

3. Nissan Leaf
Oct 23 average asking price: £16,034
Price change (YoY): -23.6%
Price change (MoM): 1.5%

4. Porsche Taycan
Oct 23 average asking price: £87,015
Price change (YoY): -22.7%
Price change (MoM): 0.2%

5. Vauxhall Mokka-e
Oct 23 average asking price: £22,791
Price change (YoY): -22.6%
Price change (MoM): 1.4%

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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