Press release

Auto Trader records 10,000 new car views every hour in January

Despite the current restrictions across the UK, Auto Trader is currently tracking record levels of consumer engagement for new cars on its marketplace. In January, there were 7.4 million advert views of brand-new cars on Auto Trader, which not only marks a 69% increase on pre-pandemic January 2020, but also the highest number of views recorded in a single month. It equates to almost 10,000 views of a new car every hour.

January also saw a sharp increase in the number of individual users viewing a new car on Auto Trader, growing 14% year-on-year (YoY) and 19% on December. This very strong level of consumer engagement resulted in a 98% YoY increase in the number of new car leads being sent to retailers last month.

Reassuringly, this strong performance has continued and even accelerated into February. Despite still being in a national lockdown, last week (1st – 7th February) marked the highest ever number of new car advert views (up 59% YoY) in a single week, as well as the highest number of new car leads sent to retailers (up 116% YoY).   

With a typical research lead time of two-three months, the data offers a positive indicator of the levels of new car consumer demand in the market ahead of the 21-registration plate change in March. And whilst there remains uncertainty on whether forecourts will be able to reopen next month, it highlights the potential for new car sales via online retailing channels, such as click and collect and home delivery.  

Auto Trader’s commercial director, Ian Plummer commented: “Although we hope dealerships will reopen soon, retailers need to plan for every eventuality and unfortunately, the possibility their doors will have to remain closed during some or all of the key month of March. From what we can see from our data, there is cause for optimism: there’s a growing level of new car demand, and the broader economic consumer confidence levels, which is typically the key driver of the new car market, remains relatively strong. In fact, our latest research shows that consumers are currently more confident in being able to afford their next car than they were pre-pandemic.

 “There’s clearly an appetite from consumers to be able to do more of the car buying journey online, but for those not currently prepared to complete their journey online, although often comfortable to narrow down their final choice and even fully stacking a deal with help from their local retailer, we’re confident they’ll quickly convert to purchase once they’re able to physically see the car and drive it. The strong signs of pent-up demand we’re tracking on our marketplace should therefore help the new car market return to health as soon as retailers can reopen their showrooms.”

 Most popular new cars in January

Indicative of the levels of confidence in the market, the top 10 most popular brand-new cars in January, based on the number of advert views, were made up solely of premium brands, with the iconic Volkswagen Golf taking the number one spot, with twice as many views than the BMW 1 Series in second place. In contrast, the list of most popular new electric vehicles was dominated by volume marques, however, Audi’s high-performance electric SUV, the e-tron S, topped the list, and by some margin.      

January most popular new car models by advert views:

Make

Model

Advert Views

Volkswagen

Golf

303,183

BMW

1 Series

130,574

Land Rover

Range Rover

123,580

BMW

3 Series

120,890

Mercedes-Benz

E Class

119,679

Land Rover

Range Rover Sport

118,524

Land Rover

Defender 110

116,507

BMW

4 Series

109,164

BMW

5 Series

102,914

Audi

A3

102,809

January’s most popular electric new car models by advert views:

Make

Model

Advert Views

Audi

E-Tron S

38,901

MG

MG5

28,360

Volkswagen

ID.3

28,083

Audi

E-Tron

26,544

Ford

Mustang MACH-E

25,477

Jaguar

I-PACE

23,555

MG

MG ZS

22,937

Kia

Niro

16,159

Mazda

MX-30

15,942

Nissan

Leaf

13,169

January’s most popular new car body types by advert views:

Make

Model

Body Type

Advert Views

Volkswagen

Golf

Hatchback

292,176

Land Rover

Range Rover

SUV

123,580

BMW

4 Series

Coupe

103,665

BMW

3 Series

Saloon

79,346

Audi

RS6 Avant

Estate

53,293

BMW

Z4

Convertible

20,783

In next week’s webinar we’ll be joined by @mikejonesase to talk through what the latest budget means for retailers. We’ll also discuss what independent and franchise retailers can learn from each other as they prepare to reopen physical forecourts > https://t.co/rKjsWxrWjN https://t.co/tTxqOKW63A
Our teams were delighted to be a part of #BreakoutForBen, raising £12,225 towards the staggering total achieved by all who took part @BenSupport4Auto https://t.co/JqHkpGF9cE
To celebrate #InternationalWomensDay on Monday 8th March, we'll be hosting a webinar centred around this year’s theme #ChooseToChallenge. Find out more and register at https://t.co/z83jRsYDtp https://t.co/Yfvh2KkK1A
Our Data & Insight Director @therickw shares our latest audience data along with what we are seeing in terms of overall market and retailer performance. https://t.co/r5vdGHI1UM
In our next webinar we welcome back @mikejonesase ,chairman of @ASE_Global, to give the latest update on government financial support and answer your questions which you can pre-submit by following the instructions below. https://t.co/al6EzwaeJ3
Whilst the latest data from the @SMMT shows new car registrations were down -35.5% last month, we’ve seen a significant increase in new car engagement on our marketplace. https://t.co/NWLpyJ1j2W
Our Retail Price Index, which is based on daily pricing analysis of circa 900,000 vehicles, revealed the average price of a used car in February was £14,096: a YoY increase of 6.6%. https://t.co/HrAEkAqpOV
From May 1st admin fees will be displayed on your full-page adverts. Fees will not appear in search pricing until later this year. https://t.co/ernaPgaJsL
Buyer's confidence in being able to afford their next car remains extremely high. https://t.co/ktR6FungW8
First up our Data & Insight Director @therickw shares our latest audience update. Last week audience grew 8.8% compared to the same time last year, with our marketplace seeing an average of 1.4 million users each day last week. https://t.co/fNyeiSr1AG

Auto Trader Group plc
Registered in England (Company number: 09439967)

Auto Trader Limited
Registered in England and Wales (Company number: 03909628)

Registered address:

1 Tony Wilson Place
Manchester
M15 4FN
VAT number: GB 614 8918 20

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