LSE: 687.40 GBP -4.40 (-0.64%)
Menu
Close

 

Today’s
automotive
market

Staying ahead in a competitive marketplace
requires constant evolution,
agility and
relentless tech-led innovation.

The ecosystem
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.

35.1m

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.

69.6 m

Cross platform visits

Monthly average visits spent across all platforms in 2023

13,913

Average retailer forecourts

 advertising with Auto Trader in 2023

437 k

Live car stock

Average number per month in 2023

New and used car
market dynamics

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.

1.7m

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.

6.9m

used car transactions in the 12 months to March 2023

News & views

Retail Price Index

Providing an overview of the latest pricing data from
our marketplace and across the retail market.

+3%

year-on-year increase in new car registrations during 2023

>80%

of younger car buyers are open to the concept of digital retailing

c.900,000

daily price observations tracked by our RPI

23,000

EV advert views appeared on our site on average during 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.

Structural changes in the new car market

Consumers’ desire to move online

The increasing importance of data

The EV market continues to evolve

Key trend

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.

 

Future opportunities

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.

Key trend

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.

 

Future opportunities

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.

Key trend

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.

 

Future opportunities

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.

Key trend

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.

 

Future opportunities

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.

Publications

Related links

Generating value

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

Other Group sites

Looking to join the team?

Careers

Looking to buy or sell a vehicle?

Consumers

Keep in touch

Sign up to our email alerts service:

RNS alerts

Join our news & views mailing list
or submit media-related enquiries:

Contact our press team
  • @2024 Auto Trader Group plc. Registered in England with company number: 09439967.