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Used car retail prices fell 1.9% in January as dealers underpriced in-demand models

  • Average retail price of a used car was £16,868 in January
  • That was down 7.5% year-on-year and 1.9% month-on-month
  • Dealers are underpricing used cars to the tune of £30m, says Auto Trader
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Time 8:33 am, February 7, 2024

Used car retail prices slipped by 1.9% in January and were fuelled by underpriced in-demand stock, Auto Trader has reported.

The average retail price of a used car was £16,868 in January, down 7.5% year-on-year and 1.9% month-on-month, new data published by the company reveals.

Around 46,000 cars with an Auto Trader Retail Rating score of over 61 were advertised below their market average in January, leading to a potential lost profit of £30m the firm said.


It added 3,400 dealers chose to list 9,300 of the most in-demand used cars on Auto Trader below 95% of their market average. The marketplace believes this adds up to potentially an £8m loss.

The fall contrasted with the small 0.1% drop in trade used car prices, as reported by Cap HPI in a special interview with Car Dealer.

Despite this, January saw increased levels of consumer demand of 6.1% year-on-year on Auto Trader’s platform, and well ahead of supply which recorded growth of just 1.2%.


The average retail price of sub-three-year-old (£28,031) cars are down 9.7% year-on-year, partly due to the ongoing de-fleeting of circa 750,000 electric vehicles sold over the last three years.

Used cars aged 3-5-years (£19,114) and 5-10-years (£13,352) saw a decline of 9.2% and 4.8% respectively.

Auto Trader’s data also shows used cars aged over 10-years-old, however, are still recording positive price growth, with 10–15-year-old vehicles up 3.7% YoY to £6,457.

Listed below are the best and worst performing used cars in January.

Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s data & insight director, said: ‘As well as our own metrics, it’s reassuring to see broader economic indicators pointing to stable and robust market conditions, including the latest consumer confidence data, which reached a two-year high in January.

‘Although fewer than we’ve seen previously, given such positive market fundamentals, it’s disappointing to still see stock being priced under their true market value, particularly what we would call the best-of-the-best.

‘By not applying a retail-back approach to pricing, retailers are at risk of selling themselves short and missing out on significant profit opportunities.’

Auto Trader will dive into used car pricing fluctuations and how to make a success of EV sales in a special session at Car Dealer Live on March 7.

Headline speakers at the event – which will be held at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon – also include franchised car dealer Peter Vardy and used car whizz Peter Waddell. The full line-up is available on the event website alongside ticket details for car dealers and suppliers.


You can find out exactly what Auto Trader will be speaking about by clicking the video at the top of this story.

Top five used car price growths in January 2024

1. Volkswagen Beetle

Average asking price: £7,849
Price change YoY: 10.5%
Price change MoM: -0.2%

2. Suzuki Jimny

Average asking price: £12,268
Price change YoY: 8.2%
Price change MoM: 2.0%

3. Toyota Land Cruiser

Average asking price: £32,849
Price change YoY: 6.4%
Price change MoM: -0.3%

4. Jeep Grand Cherokee

Average asking price: £16,172
Price change YoY: 4.6%
Price change MoM: -1.6%

5. Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Average asking price: £11,719
Price change YoY: 4.6%
Price change MoM: -2.7%

ID.3 on the road

Top 5 used car price contractions in January 2024

1. Volkswagen ID.3

Average asking price: £24,884
Price change YoY: -24.7%
Price change MoM: -2.8%

2. Hyundai Ioniq

Average asking price: £14,969
Price change YoY: -24.5%
Price change MoM: -2.8%

3. BMW i3

Average asking price: £16,283
Price change YoY: -24.4%
Price change MoM: -2.6%

4. Tesla Model S

Average asking price: £30,613
Price change YoY: -23.9%
Price change MoM: -3.1%

5. Fiat 500e

Average asking price: £19,668
Price change YoY: -22.6%
Price change MoM: -3.0%

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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