Retail Price Index | April 2023
The average price of a used car was £17,843 in April, up 2.7% year-on-year and 1.5% month-on-month – biggest monthly increase since November 2021
According to the latest data from the Auto Trader Retail Price Index, which is based on circa 900,000 daily pricing observations across the whole retail market, growth in second-hand car prices accelerated in April due, in part, to the ongoing strengthening in consumer demand. The average price of a used car was £17,843 in April, which on a month-on-month (MoM) and like-for-like basis is a 1.5% rise on March’s levels and marks the largest monthly increase since November 2021.
Whilst used car prices have grown on a year-on-year (YoY) basis for 37 consecutive months, the rate of growth has gradually softened since April 2022, when it had reached its peak of 32.2% YoY. March 2023 saw a reversal of this trend, however, rising from the 1.3% YoY recorded in February, to 2%. This upward trajectory continued into April, with average prices rising 2.7% YoY.
This acceleration in price growth is the result of the ongoing challenges in used car supply (down -8.9% YoY in April) following the huge shortfall in new car production seen ever since the pandemic and it’s knock on effects on supply chains, as well as the recent strengthening in demand (up 8.3% YoY). This imbalance is not only keeping second-hand car prices stable, but also supporting a healthy and profitable used car market. Auto Trader’s Market Health metric was up 19% YoY last month.
The growth in demand is reflected in the exceptionally strong levels of consumer engagement recorded on Auto Trader. In April there were nearly 78 million cross platform visits to its marketplace, which represents a significant 16% increase on the same period last year.
The speed in which cars are selling is another key indicator of market health. Last month, used cars took an average of 27 days to leave retailers’ forecourts, two days faster than in April 2022 (29), and three days faster than in April 2021 (30).
The used car market has had a strong year so far, which is reflected in the record levels of consumer engagement on our marketplace over recent months. Rising used car values has done little to dampen demand and based on what we’re tracking across the market, there’s no indication of it slowing significantly anytime soon.
Data & Insight DirectorCONNECT
Overall growth held back by falling electric prices.
Despite the strong acceleration in YoY and MoM prices, overall growth is being held back by the ongoing contraction in used electric vehicle (EV) values (£31,517), which as of last month were down -18.1% on the prior year. In contrast, the average price of a used petrol (£16,265) and diesel (£16,630) car grew 4.8% and 3.3% respectively.
April marks the fourth consecutive month used EV values have fallen as the still maturing electric market corrects itself in the wake of a huge influx of stock. Indeed, Auto Trader’s data, which is based on the broadest single view of EVs in the market, shows that used electric supply was up a whopping 246% in April. Conversely, the combined supply of petrol and diesel cars fell 16.3% over the same period.
Importantly, consumer appetite for used electric vehicles remains robust, with levels of demand on Auto Trader recording a 33% increase in April, rising from the 23% recorded in March. Therefore, whilst demand is growing, it’s being outstripped by the rate of supply growth, and as a result, causing an expected, but significant price adjustment.
Walker continued: “As we highlighted in our latest Road to 2030 report, the used EV market is in robust shape. The surge in supply means car buyers have an expanding range of affordable options, and the softening in prices is helping to make used electric an ever more attractive alternative. Along with positive charging developments, not least ChargeUK’s newly announced £6 billion investment in the UK’s charging infrastructure, and Arnold Clark’s planned national charging network, we’re seeing the traditional barriers to EV consideration being slowly but surely chipped away.”
Top 10 used car price growth (all fuel types) | April 2023 vs April 2022 like-for-like
Top 10 used car price contraction (all fuel types) | April 2023 vs April 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 900,000 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. Auto Trader listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2015 and is now a member of the FTSE 100 Index.
The marketplace is where UK consumers buy and sell cars with the largest number of car buyers and the largest choice of trusted stock. Auto Trader exists to Drive Change Together. Responsibly and creating a diverse and inclusive culture is at the heart of the business. It is focused on changing how the UK shops for cars by providing the best online car buying experience and enabling all retailers to sell online. It aims to build stronger partnerships with its customers and use its voice and influence to drive more environmentally friendly vehicle choices.
Auto Trader publishes a monthly used car Retail Price Index which is based on daily pricing analysis of circa 900,000 vehicles, this data is used by the Bank of England to feed the broader UK economic indicators.
For more information, please visit www.plc.autotrader.co.uk
For all media enquiries, please contact:
Andrew Nankervis | Andrew.Nankervis@autotrader.co.uk 07720 896760
 MoM in November 2011 was up 2.7%.
 The Market Health metric shows the ratio of supply vs demand compared to the previous year.
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