Used car prices staying strong – and they’re going to keep like that

Time 1 year ago

The average price of used cars has not only grown each week since May, it’s accelerating!

That’s according to Auto Trader, which said the average price of a used car on its marketplace in the week of  July 6 was £15,025 – a year-on-year increase of 4.4 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

The positive picture is seen across segments, ages and fuel types, too. The average price of a petrol car went up by 5.4 per cent year on year that week, having seen sustained growth for 19 weeks. Meanwhile, diesels rose by 4.1 per cent on average.

Electric vehicle prices rose by 2.7 per cent, but hybrids went down by 1.6 per cent. Demand and searches for these alternatively fuelled vehicles have strengthened, though, so prices are expected to improve each week.

Volume brands rose by 8.2 per cent year on year, while premium brands went up by 2.2 per cent.

The average prices of vehicles up to 15 years old also increased. Those aged between 10 and 15 years went up by 6.6 per cent in the four weeks to July 13 against the same period last year. Meanwhile, prices for five-to-10-year-old cars rose by 4.9 per cent, and for cars aged three to five years they went up by 4.2 per cent.

In the four weeks to July 13, the average price of a hatchback rose by 8.3 per cent against the same four weeks in 2019, saloons went up by 3.5 per cent, while for SUVs it was 1.7 per cent.

Convertibles prices have been strengthening each week but the average price is down 1.1 per cent year on year, caused, Auto Trader said, by prices for this segment being very strong last year thanks to the hotter weather in the UK.

Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s director of data and insights, said: ‘It’s not just that prices are up right now. Ever since retailers have been able to restart their sales, used car prices have seen sustained growth for more than 10 weeks and it’s clear this growth is accelerating.

‘It’s imperative to consider all market factors when evaluating price.

‘Price is driven by supply and consumer-driven demand, and although supply has been constrained with auction houses being slower to reopen since lockdown, they are returning to over 90 per cent of pre-Covid-19 levels.

‘Thanks to our massive audience share of car buyers and 64 million cross-platform visits in June, we have a robust picture of consumer demand which outweighs supply greatly, and there’s no sign of this slowing.’

He added that consumer confidence seemed relatively robust too, with 82 per cent of 1,358 respondents to a June survey saying they were ‘as confident’ or ‘more confident’ in being able to afford their next car than a year ago.

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‘We encouraged retailers to retain their prices during lockdown, which paid off, and the industry is seeing the benefits of that now,’ said Walker.

‘This message still stands. Prices remain robust overall, they are growing in the majority of segments and there are no indications to suggest retailers need to start reducing them.’

More Used Car stories can be found in our dedicated section here

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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