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02 July 24 Press releases

USED CAR MARKET ENTERS H2 WITH GOOD MOMENTUM AS INDUSTRY BENEFITS FROM CONSUMER CONFIDENCE BOOST

 

 

The used car market has entered H2 with strong momentum behind it, boosted by improving consumer confidence and favourable market conditions which are not only helping cars to sell quickly, but also increasing sales, and stabilising retail prices.

According to the latest data from Auto Trader, the average price of a used car in June was £16,410, which on a month-on-month (MoM) and like-for-like basis, is a softening of just -0.5%, in line with seasonal trends.

Since the start of the year, the used car market has recorded very robust levels of consumer demand, and at the half-way point shows no signs of slowing. In June, the level of demand on Auto Trader (as determined by the volume of advert views and search activity), rose 12.4% year-on-year, marking the highest rate of demand growth in 15 months[1].  

The underlying demand in the used car market is further highlighted by the 80.8 million cross platform visits to Auto Trader last month, which is a 10% increase on June 2023, and a significant 21% rise on 2022. What’s more, Auto Trader data shows that used cars are currently selling in just 29 days, three days faster than the same period last year, and five days faster than pre-pandemic 2019 (34 days).

Crucially, this demand is translating into more than just interest from car buyers, with the platform’s retail sales data indicating used car transactions rose circa 8% on June 2023, rising from an already very robust 6% YoY uplift in May.

Market boosted by confident economic outlook

The retail market is benefitting from rising levels of consumer confidence, driven by optimism about the economy. Indeed, with the latest inflation figures falling to its lowest level in almost three years, the GFK Consumer Confidence Index improved for the third consecutive month in June. Auto Trader’s own consumer research found that 50% of in market car buyers were more confident in their ability to afford a new[2] car than they were last year. 89% were at least as confident as they were 12 months ago.

The growing levels of consumer demand in the market is combined with a recent drop in supply. In fact, whilst supply of used cars entering the market began to improve towards the end of last year, over the last quarter available stock has slowed, and in June fell -4.2% year-on-year, the largest drop since May 23. Due to the impact of COVID, supply levels of cars aged below five years old are facing the biggest squeeze, with those aged 1-3-years and 3-5-years recording a drop of -20.6% YoY and -16.7% respectively. Conversely, with production now back to normal levels, supply of ‘nearly new’ cars (those aged below 12-months old) are up 42% YoY.   

It's this imbalance in core market fundamentals - rising demand vs falling supply - which is helping to create a very robust used car market. Auto Trader’s Market Health metric, which assesses potential market profitability, rose to 15% in June; up from the 11% recorded in May, and the highest rate of growth since April 2023. For stock aged 3-5-years-old, it’s up a whopping 43% YoY, highlighting the considerable nuance in the used car market.

As we enter the second half of the year, our data shows that the fundamentals of the used car market remain solid; consumer demand is robust, and cars are selling at pace, which combined with the softening in supply, means retail prices continue to return to seasonal norms. Although this balance of market dynamics is working to stabilise retail prices, it’s also affecting retailers’ traditional stock profiles and making the job of finding profitable cars all the more challenging. It’s why using insights over instincts to power your forecourt strategy is more important than ever.

Key spokesperson

Richard Walker

Data & Insight Director

CONNECT

Top 10 used car price growth (all fuel types) | June 2024 vs June 2023 like-for-like

Ranks

Make

Model

May 24 Average Asking Price

Price Change (YoY)

Price Change
(MoM)

1

Volkswagen

Beetle

£7,314

2.3%

1.7%

2

BMW

M5

£41,705

1.0%

1.9%

3

Mercedes-Benz

SL Class

£25,931

0.5%

2.5%

4

Porsche

718 Cayman

£63,189

-0.2%

1.4%

5

Volkswagen

Touareg

£29,525

-0.8%

2.2%

6

Volkswagen

up!

£8,077

-1.1%

-0.5%

7

Ford

Mustang

£33,790

-1.1%

3.5%

8

Audi

R8

£70,080

-1.2%

1.1%

9

BMW

Z4

£17,405

-1.3%

2.6%

10

Hyundai

i10

£7,854

-1.3%

-0.2%

 

Top 10 used car price contraction (all fuel types) | June 2024 vs June 2023 like-for-like

 

Rank

Make

Model

May 24 Average Asking Price

Price Change
(YoY)

Price Change

(MoM)

10

Vauxhall

Corsa-e

£14,967

-20.1%

0.9%

9

Renault

Grand Scenic

£5,869

-20.3%

-5.8%

8

DS AUTOMOBILES

DS 3 CROSSBACK

£13,980

-20.6%

1.9%

7

Vauxhall

Mokka-e

£17,955

-21.8%

1.9%

6

Citroen

Grand C4 Picasso

£6,858

-22.6%

-1.1%

5

Tesla

Model 3

£23,617

-22.9%

5.2%

4

DS AUTOMOBILES

DS 3

£7,069

-22.9%

-1.8%

3

Nissan

Pulsar

£6,646

-23.0%

-4.9%

2

Citroen

e-C4

£17,437

-24.3%

1.9%

1

Audi

e-tron

£26,370

-24.7%

0.6%

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