Staying ahead in a competitive marketplace
requires constant evolution, agility and
relentless tech-led innovation.
we operate in
The automotive market is complex and often
inefficient. There are multiple participants and
unsurprisingly, consumers can find the process
of buying or selling a car overwhelming.
Through Auto Trader products, services and
partnerships, we aim to significantly improve
the car buying experience, as well as leverage
our existing relationships to improve more of
the value chain.
average size of UK
car parc during 2022
Driving change in tomorrow’s car market
We are continually adapting our onsite experience to meet
the needs of both our customers and consumers.
This is core to remaining the UK’s largest automotive
marketplace for new and used cars.
Cross platform visits
Monthly average visits spent across all platforms in 2023
Average retailer forecourts
advertising with Auto Trader in 2023
Live car stock
Average number per month in 2023
New and used car
New car registrations
New car registration volumes remain impacted by supply chain challenges. New car registrations for financial year 2023 were 1.7 million, +3% on financial year 2022 but still -19% behind pre-pandemic levels (financial year 2020).
While levels of supply do remain heavily constrained, the availability of stock has very gradually improved over the second half of the financial year and new car registrations in Q4 of our financial year saw 18% growth year on year.
With manufacturers continuing to bring more electric cars to market, much of the new car growth has been driven by alternatively fuelled vehicles. Over the full year, EVs accounted for 279k registrations, a 25% year-on-year increase.
new car registrations in the 12 months to March 2023
Used car transactions
Used car transactions were 8% below financial year 2022 levels at 6.9 million for financial year 2023, as transactions continued to feel the knock-on impact of low volumes of new car supply.
This was a story of two halves. In H1, we saw demand on Auto Trader down compared with H1 2022 and saw used car transactions -15% year on year. This was lapping a very strong comparative period in H1 2022.
By contrast, in H2 2023, we saw our demand metrics improve year on year and in the second half used car transactions were actually up marginally year on year.
Despite potential headwinds, we expect demand for used cars to remain robust, not least because cars are, for most motorists, a fundamental need. What’s more, there remains a huge backlog of people waiting for a driving test, and there has been a combined five million lost new and used car sales over the past three years.
used car transactions in the 12 months to March 2023
The key drivers shaping the future of our industry
The automotive industry as a whole is facing an
unprecedented wave of change, most notably in the way
people buy cars and the acceleration in the adoption of
electric vehicles. Over the next 5 to 10 years, the cars
consumers drive and the ways in which they buy, own
and use them will be dramatically reshaped.
There are significant structural changes taking effect in new vehicles, including electrification, the growth of leasing, new manufacturers entering the UK market and a shift towards new digital distribution models.
There is a significant opportunity for us to help consumers, retailers, funders and manufacturers navigate these changes. For consumers, we can help them choose their next new vehicle and for retailers, funders and manufacturers we can be a highly efficient digital sales channel.
Consumer appetite to do more of the car buying journey online remains strong following the pandemic. Today, almost two thirds of consumers and more than 80% of younger car buyers are open to the concept of digital retailing. Whether it’s checking availability, sourcing a valuation, booking a test drive, paying a deposit, or organising finance, 60% of car buyers would like to do these key jobs online.
While most people still want to do some of the purchase journey in person, many are comfortable doing more of their car buying jobs online. There is a significant opportunity for us in digitising key parts of the transaction, providing a better experience for consumers and creating significant efficiencies for our retailers.
Levels of supply and demand for different makes and models continue to change at speed, and with the added complexity of increasing fuel types, it is more difficult than ever for retailers to base stocking and pricing decisions on experience alone.
We’re surfacing our award-winning valuations into retailers’ businesses through Auto Trader Connect. We’ve also launched Vehicle Insight, a new performance tool that enables retailers to access our market data in one simplified view through our Retailer Portal. We’re constantly evolving and investing in our platforms to help our retailer partners respond quickly to market changes and improve performance across their digital forecourts.
Across the whole year we have continued to see the demand and supply for electric vehicles (‘EVs’) increase across both new and used cars. However, the picture has varied significantly throughout the year. By the end of the year we were seeing supply rise faster than demand in used EVs causing pressure on used EV pricing.
The EV market is immature and nuanced, which means accurate and timely data is critical for retailers to inform their sourcing and pricing strategies. Auto Trader has a unique opportunity to guide and support consumers in making the switch to electric and is providing more detail on its platforms including total cost of ownership information and battery ranges.
View the latest market data
To discover more about today’s
automotive market, check out the latest
publications in our news & views section.
Maintaining a robust value creation model for driving growth and succeeding in the strategic delivery of our purpose.Read More
Our strategy in action
Bringing together our three strategic priorities to deliver the best, data-driven digital retailing experience for our consumers and retailers.Read More