LSE: 687.40 GBP -4.40 (-0.64%)
Menu
Close
15 December 21 Press releases

‘Plan B’ measures have little impact on used car prices as growth rockets 28%

 

Despite the introduction of new measures to curb the rise in COVID-19 cases, the latest used car data from Auto Trader reveals the Government’s Plan B has had little impact on either consumer demand or used car price growth. In fact, last week (6th – 12th December) used car prices increased a massive 28% on a year-on-year (YoY) and like for like basis[1], which is up from 26.9% this time last month[2] and marks the 84th consecutive week of price growth. Such is the huge acceleration, the average price of a used car on Auto Trader has increased circa £5,200 in the last seven months[3].

This acceleration is being fuelled by an imbalance of supply and demand in the market – the ongoing constraints in new and used car supply, coupled with exceptionally strong levels of consumer demand, which according to the latest data from Auto Trader, has been unaffected by the new restrictions. In fact, last week there were 11.6 million cross platform visits to its marketplace, which is a 20% increase on the same period two years ago. What’s more, there was also a 13% rise in the hours (1.7 million) consumers spent researching their next car.

Further evidence of the negligible impact Plan B has had on consumer demand, is the high volume of enquiries that are continuing to be sent to retailers through Auto Trader. Last week, the average number of used car ‘leads’ sent to retailers grew 46% when compared to the same period in 2019.

Another factor in the surge in prices is the ongoing drop in levels of supply, which were down -11% last week versus 2019. The shortage of micro-chips and other raw materials which is directly and dramatically impacting worldwide supply of new cars, is having a significant knock-on effect on the remarketing supply of used cars.

‘Flat’ weekly price movement in line with seasonal expectations

Looking at used car price changes on a more granular level, on a like-for-like basis average prices were flat (0.0%) against the previous week (29th November – 5th December). Whilst some commentators have suggested this is an indication the record price growth is finally starting to slow, it is in fact consistent with typical seasonal trends and does not reflect any significant change to the recent trajectory in year-on-year growth.   

At this time of year, as we fast approach Christmas, it’s quite normal to see price growth slow on a week-on-week or even a month-on-month basis. What is far less typical however, is the very strong levels of consumer demand that we’re continuing to track in the market, which even with the introduction of the Government’s Plan B measures, shows no sign of weakening.

Key spokesperson

Richard Walker

Data & Insight Director

CONNECT

 

"In fact, fuelled by the recovering economy and a resilient labour market, we can expect very strong demand to continue for some time to come. Coupled with the ongoing new and used car supply constraints, these market dynamics will keep used car price growth on its current trajectory well into 2022. Any suggestion, therefore, that any recent easing is anything beyond a normal seasonal trend is simply not correct."

 


 

Retailers adopting an aggressive pricing strategy in line with market health

Such is the strength in the market, last week there was a -9% decrease in the number of retailers making daily price adjustments to their forecourts when compared to the same period in 2019. What’s more, there were circa 1,300 fewer daily price adjustments being made.

Highlighting the confidence in the market, over the last six months there has been a significant increase in the number of cars being priced above the market average from day one, which suggests retailers are being far more aggressive in their pricing strategies. In November, 38% of cars entering the market were priced above average, compared to just 24% a year earlier.

Largest used car price increases and contractions by model as of 6th – 12th December 2021

Rank
Make
Model
Average Asking Price
Price Change

1
SEAT
Alhambra
£19,159
48.7%

2
Renault
Grand Scenic
£9,848
47.0%

3
Ford
S-Max
£14,833
45.5%

4
Ford
Focus
£15,412
45.3%

5
SKODA
Octavia
£16,795
45.2%

6
SKODA
Yeti
£12,465
44.9%

7
Mercedes-Benz
CLK
£7,598
44.1%

8
Hyundai
i30
£13,801
43.4%

9
Toyota
Yaris
£13,349
42.9%

10
Land Rover
Defender 110
£81,381
42.7%

11
Ford
Grand C-Max
£12,101
41.8%

12
Vauxhall
Zafira Tourer
£11,997
41.0%

13
Vauxhall
Cascada
£10,323
39.5%

14
Peugeot
2008
£15,873
39.3%

15
Ford
Kuga
£19,807
39.1%

16
Jaguar
XK
£28,343
39.0%

17
Peugeot
Rifter
£22,665
39.0%

18
Toyota
Auris
£12,372
38.9%

19
Renault
Megane
£9,770
38.8%

20
Peugeot
308 SW
£11,716
38.6%

20
Mazda
CX-30
£25,335
6.1%

19
Kia
XCeed
£21,219
6.0%

18
Lexus
UX 250h
£31,152
5.9%

17
Chevrolet
Spark
£2,439
5.7%

16
Citroen
DS4
£5,716
5.6%

15
Peugeot
308 CC
£4,755
5.2%

14
Mercedes-Benz
CLC Class
£4,721
4.8%

13
Volvo
S80
£5,927
4.6%

12
Audi
A4 Cabriolet
£4,426
3.5%

11
Tesla
Model 3
£49,127
2.8%

10
BMW
X3 M
£58,312
1.6%

9
Audi
e-tron
£65,212
1.1%

8
DS AUTOMOBILES
DS 7 CROSSBACK
£29,861
0.6%

7
BMW
8 Series Gran Coupe
£61,793
-1.0%

6
BMW
8 Series
£59,856
-2.0%

5
DS AUTOMOBILES
DS 3 CROSSBACK
£21,468
-2.1%

4
Volvo
V90
£29,276
-11.4%

3
Citroen
C5
£3,464
-12.3%

2
Porsche
Taycan
£116,148
-12.4%

1
Audi
S4 Avant
£29,992
-24.5%

[1] Versus 7th – 13th December 2020

[2] 8th – 14th November 2021

[3] The average price of a used car on Auto Trader w/c 3rd May 2021 was £14,896

Share:
Up next
Auto Trader data to power Office for National Statistics' official measures of inflation
Read More
Retailers embracing digital are reporting more sales, more efficiency and more satisfied customers
Read More
Auto Trader is first FTSE 100 to achieve Gold Carbon Literacy status
Read More

Stay up to date

Follow us on our social channels to keep up with the latest news, insights and company developments.

 

If you would like to be added to our News & views mailing list, or have any media-related enquiries, please contact our press team:

Auto Trader UK

Auto Trader Insight

Auto Trader Life

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.