Press release

Auto Trader Retail Price Index | April 2019

Industry faces low-emission Catch-22 as supply and demand pushes used AFVs out of reach

 

  • Used car market price growth slows to a two-year low
  • AFV have seen the highest rate of growth since August 2018 at 4.7%
  • Price tag of second-hand EVs reach record levels, at £23,361
  • AFVs account for just 1% of stock on Auto Trader

At a time when the average rate of price growth of a used car has slowed to an almost two year[1] low of 1.5%, prices of pure electric vehicles (EVs) are bucking the trend, growing at a rate of 11%.

That’s the latest findings from the Auto Trader Retail Price Index, which highlights the extent consumer economic uncertainty is having on used car prices, with the average rate of growth gradually easing across the total market since January 2019. However, at a more granular level, the decline has been felt most keenly by second-hand diesels with growth now slowing to just 1.3%. Average diesel sticker-prices have fallen to £14,306; the lowest since August 2017.  

Petrol is faring better, albeit marginally. Growth has slowed from 2.4% in March, to just 1.6% last month, the lowest rate since October 2016. The average sticker price of a petrol is £11,200, gaining on last month’s £11,186.

Low emissions bucking the trend

Whilst internal combustion engines (ICEs) are stumbling, their electric powered counterparts are thriving. With an average sticker price of £21,560 in April, used alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) grew at a rate of 4.7%, up from last month’s 3.7% and, indeed, the highest rate of growth since August 2018. But the star of the show is pure electric; at £23,361, the highest price to date, EVs are growing at a double-digit rate (11%).

Stock in the market

The surging prices of low-emission vehicles can be attributed to supply and demand. On Auto Trader, the UK’s largest automotive digital marketplace, AFVs currently account for just 1% of stock listed, whilst petrol and diesel account for 52% and 47% respectively.

“When it comes to low-emission vehicles, the industry is facing a Catch-22 situation. The growing appetite of AFVs offer the industry a great opportunity for growth, but for mass adoption, the average price needs to be more accessible to more people. However, with so few vehicles in the market, even second-hand cars are being pushed out of financial reach for most consumers,” explains Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s Director of Commercial Products.    

Searches for diesel cars is at an all-time low

The numbers of people searching for diesels continues to decline, with just 41% of all fuel related searches on Auto Trader for the fuel type. Petrol is gaining the share lost by diesel, accounting for 52% of all fuel related searches. Searches for AFVs remains flat at 7%.

[1] Auto Trader Retail Price Index - July 2017

According to our latest pricing snapshot, the strong growth in used car prices has continued into September. The average cost of a used car grew 7.4% YoY last week, marking 19 weeks of consecutive growth. Read the results in full here: https://t.co/TX88xlBOpU https://t.co/xEszb3JolF
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Sourcing stock is one of the main challenges retailers face right now. That’s why it’s critical to be diversifying your stock profile – something that has been key to @DriveVauxhall managing to keep stock flow at normal levels through these challenging times! #atinsightoftheday https://t.co/CWBIOeCKDp
Be sure to register for our next webinar where Nathan Coe, CEO, Auto Trader will be speaking with @MarshallMotorGp. This is not one to be missed so register now - https://t.co/lWu984OeRI https://t.co/fnnG3OgNWM
Now it's over to @chrispenny222 who has announced he has man flu (not covid)! He's also hear to announce our new masterclass programme... https://t.co/NPyRXsRxWV
Huge thanks to Rob and @DriveVauxhall for joining our #webinar today. We'll be sharing the interview on our blog tomorrow so stay tuned!
Over to our interview with Robert Keenan, Managing Director of @DriveVauxhall - we've been looking forward to this one! https://t.co/OzSEigKg2J
Over to @MarcThornboroug for a few key updates! https://t.co/guf1A9dX1n
On to pricing now where we're seeing petrol and diesel prices up by 8% with #alternativefuel vehicles seeing a slight decline in prices.

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