Growth run adds £4,000 to value of second-hand cars
Used car prices registered their 40th successive month of year-on-year growth in July, rising 2.4% to £17,920 in the past 12 months, according to the latest data from the Auto Trader Retail Price Index.
While the pace slowed compared to June’s 3.2%, the latest price increase now leaves the average second-hand car more than £4,000 dearer than April 2020, the start of the latest run of annual price increases. The figures, based on circa 800,000 daily pricing observations across the whole retail market, contrast with recent trade reports of falling used trade values in July.
The strength of the second-hand market has been driven by supply issues since Covid and its impact on new car production and the subsequent shortfall in used cars returning to the market Compared to 12 months earlier, the supply of used cars was down 1.5% in July and demand up 11.5% YoY in July, supporting price growth. Auto Trader’s Market Health metric – the ratio of supply vs demand compared to the previous year - recorded a 13.2% yoy rise in July, although the figures were skewed by last year’s heatwave.
The supply constraints are impacting 3–5-year-old sales the most, with sales down 15% in the second quarter of this year, according to Auto Trader’s internal data; in contrast, the supply of cars under a year old is over 50% higher than a year ago. In the 1-3 year old cohort, electric makes up an increasing share and with supply outstripping demand for these cars the overall picture for 1-3 year old supply is a 2.8% year-on-year price drop.
Meanwhile Auto Trader data shows more than three-quarters of the visitors to its site are planning to purchase a car within the next six months – consistent with previous levels. Some 85% of visitors are at least as confident as last year in being able to afford their next car. Used cars took 28 days on average to sell in the second quarter of 2023 – two days quicker than the equivalent period last year.
Despite the doubters, pricing in the used car market continued its long run of growth in July, albeit at a slightly slower pace. The current dynamics of the market, with robust customer demand and lower supply levels than historical standards, means we don’t see any signs of this slowing in the data."
Data & Insight DirectorCONNECT
"We do see used car supply continuing to improve and with concerns over the current health of the economy and the eventual effect of interest rate rises, we continue to track the data closely. Based on what we’re seeing in the data into August, we remain confident over the health of the market for the coming month."
EV values continue contraction
July marked further decreases for electric vehicle values (EVs), with the average retail value £31,568 falling 21.3% YoY to mark a seventh consecutive month of YoY decline. Since their peak in July last year (£40,728) prices have dropped more than £9,000, which is actually good news for consumers as the cars become more affordable.
In contrast with the dynamics of the overall used market, consumer demand for second-hand EVs has been robust but unable to keep pace with the sharp increase in availability – soaring 173.6% YoY in July and driving down prices as a result. The fall in the EV market contrasts with a £595 or 4.7% rise in prices to £16,448 for petrol models, and a 4.9% increase in the cost of average diesel cars to £16,571 compared to 12 months earlier.
Other popular sellers in June displaying a large ULEZ “premium” include a 23% or £2,220 difference between a 2015 and 2016 Nissan Qashqai, a 16% or £2,594 jump between a 2015 and 2016 Land Rover Epoque, and a 13% or £1,645 difference between the 2015 and 2016 BMW 3 Series.
Top 10 used car price growth (all fuel types) | July 2023 vs July 2022 like-for-like
About the Retail Price Index
The Auto Trader Retail Price Index (RPI) is published monthly and provides an overview of the latest price and search data from our marketplace. Our team of data scientists monitor circa 800,000 vehicles each day, including 116,000 vehicle updates and an average of 39,000 vehicles added or removed from Auto Trader. Coupled with data from circa 450,000 trade car listings every day, as well as additional retailer forecourts and website data (OEM, fleet and leasing disposal prices and pricing data from over 3,000 car dealership websites and data from major auction houses across the UK), ensuring the Index is an accurate reflection of the live retail market.
About Auto Trader
Auto Trader Group plc is the UK’s largest automotive marketplace. It listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2015 and is a member of the FTSE 100 Index.
Auto Trader’s purpose is Driving Change Together. Responsibly. Auto Trader is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive culture, it aims to build stronger partnerships with its customers and use its voice and influence to drive more environmentally friendly vehicle choices.
With the largest number of car buyers and the largest choice of trusted stock, Auto Trader’s marketplace sits at the heart of the UK car buying process. That marketplace is built on an industry-leading technology and data platform, which is increasingly used across the automotive industry. Auto Trader is continuing to bring more of the car buying journey online, creating an improved buying experience, whilst enabling all its retailer partners to sell vehicles online.
Auto Trader publishes a monthly used car Retail Price Index which is based on pricing analysis of circa 800,000 unique vehicles. This data is used by the Bank of England to feed the broader UK economic indicators.
For more information, please visit: plc.autotrader.co.uk
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