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

With panic buying of petrol and diesel gripping the nation, we've seen a spike in interest in electric vehicles with advert views and leads for new electric vehicles on our platform hitting record levels over the weekend. #fuelcrisis #fuelshortages #ElectricVehicles https://t.co/EOX4SEDGCD
This week we rolled out the final stage of our admin fees plan, including any admin fees in the total price of the vehicle. So it's only fitting that this week's tip of the week is all about admin fees and what you can do to ensure your pricing is as transparent as possible. https://t.co/KThAVdSAon
The 2015 @KiaUK Sorento has been revealed as the UK’s current fastest selling used car taking an average of just 17 days to sell right now. https://t.co/X3WTnoOQdE
The number of buyers considering buying their car online continues to grow, with our latest buyer survey indicating that 63% are now willing to buy a used car online when presented with a scenario. https://t.co/FTxnM4ccPO
We're working with the @RMI_NFDA and ICDP to understand how dealers have adopted more digital retailing practices and we need to hear from you! Take the survey now to get a free personalised benchmark report👉https://t.co/qjQqIdVWFt https://t.co/eUiwMtm8E6
As of today, admin fees will be included in the total advertised price of the vehicle on Auto Trader. https://t.co/zy5qYuzEqp
The popularity of electric vehicles on our marketplace continues to grow with almost 1 in 5 consumers looking for a new car on our marketplace now considering an electric car. https://t.co/o6fHAjgL1y
In our next Courageous Conversations webinars, we'll be will be discussing whether the automotive industry is a safe space for the LGBT+ community along @forduk, @UKVolkswagen and @stonewalluk. Register now to join the conversation 👉https://t.co/p3ID7BHI3O https://t.co/FvNNTIhCEm
The latest @SMMT figures show a drop in new car transactions of 22% in August. But despite this, @IanJPlummer believes there are still reasons to be confident and that there is now a huge opportunity for the used car market. https://t.co/M0YmHKH2VA
In our next webinar, we’ll be looking at how this month’s plate change is impacting the market. Are we seeing an influx of buyer’s part-exchanging for a brand-new car and will it ease pressure on stock in the market? Register now find out 👉https://t.co/Oi8hLyTaTg https://t.co/Jjx116svPd

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

Keep in touch

We use social media to speak to the UK’s largest car buying audience