Press release

Auto Trader’s search by monthly price drives c.£300 million worth of finance enquiries to retailers since December launch

236 million ad views with finance options in January & February.

  • 1.9 million finance calculator interactions in January & February
  • BMW and Golf most popular brand and model searched for with monthly budget

London, Friday 6th April 2018 – According to Auto Trader, the UK’s largest automotive marketplace for new and used cars, circa £300 million1 worth of finance enquiries have been sent to retailers following the launch of its monthly payment search functionality in December.

In its latest Market Report2, Auto Trader revealed how positively consumers view car finance. 37% of car buyers chose to use finance as it enables them to buy a better car. In fact, consumers using finance typically pay 68% more on the sticker price of a car than those buying theirs outright: £17,087 vs £10,142. Crucially, 36% of buyers that purchased on finance did so because they couldn’t afford to purchase a car otherwise.

Underpinning just how central to the car buying process finance has become, over half (52%) of consumers already consider the cost of a car as a monthly expense, rather than the full retail price. The new search feature, introduced on 20th December 2017, responds to this growing trend amongst car buyers, enabling them to search for their next car by their ideal monthly budget.

The feature was developed in partnership with Codeweavers, and is designed to help retailers attract more buyers and increase their finance penetration by promoting their own finance offers much earlier in the buying journey. In January and February 2018, there were a combined 236 million ad views with finance options available and 1.9 million finance calculator interactions, with the total enquiries amounting to circa £300m.

Auto Trader’s Retailer and Consumer Product Director, Jason Biffin, said: “Our extensive research highlights just how fundamental finance is in today’s car buying journey; over a third of consumers wouldn’t be able to afford a car without it. That’s just one reason why, despite negative speculation, the finance bubble is not set to burst, it’s set to grow, and it presents a huge opportunity for retailers to drive growth in their businesses and the wider market. This is particularly true of used, where a pipeline of younger and more desirable, but more expensive second-hand cars are entering the market driven by the average 2-3-year Personal Contract Plans (PCP) renewal cycle.

“We’re arming retailers with the tools and the audience they need to capitalise on this vital opportunity, making finance easier to understand, easier to navigate and available to consumers at the beginning of their car buying journey.”

To drive awareness of monthly payments on Auto Trader, a fully integrated multimillion-pound campaign was launched on Christmas Day, running across TV, cinema, radio and digital. Since its launch over 41.6 million adults have seen the TV advertisement at least once, and 46.6 million adults have heard the radio advert, both of which celebrate the life events which trigger a next car purchase.

The drive to encourage more consumers to Auto Trader with a monthly budget in mind, was further amplified by an exclusive partnership with celebrity mathematician Rachel Riley.  The ‘Know your numbers’ campaign included a series of original social media content, featuring Rachel helping consumers with their car buying dilemmas: from transporting triplets, to finding the right classic car colour for the mid-life crisis – she showed car buyers that it’s even easier to find a car on finance using Auto Trader. The campaign, which ran for 30 days over February and March, drove circa 120,000 consumers to the Auto Trader marketplace, circa 88,000 of which were new users to Auto Trader.

In January alone, consumers spent 678 million minutes on Auto Trader, an 11% increase on the same period last year.

To make consumers even more aware of finance options, monthly payments are now displayed in all search results on Auto Trader – whether they search by the monthly or cash price. Retailers are now able to include manufacturer, lender or their own deposit contributions to help make the monthly payment even more attractive to buyers.

Data obtained from consumer search behaviour so far shows that the most popular deposit buyers choose is £1,000 and the most popular term is 36 months. It also revealed the top ten most searched makes and models with finance options available:

Most popular make % of monthly price searches
1.BMW 12.7%
2. Audi 12.1%
3. Mercedes-Benz 9.4%
4. Volkswagen 8.2%
5.Ford 6.7%
6. Vauxhall 4.2%
7. Land Rover 3.7%
8. Nissan 2.2%
9. Toyota 1.8%
10. Volvo 1.6%
Most popular model % of monthly price searches
1.Golf 3.4%
2. 3-Series 2.7%
3. 1-Series 2.3%
4. A3 2.1%
5.Fiesta 2.1%
6. C-Class 1.9%
7. A-Class 1.8%
8. Focus 1.7%
9. Corsa 1.2%
10. Polo 1.2%

If retailers do not offer finance or choose not to promote their own finance offers on Auto Trader, they can instead give car buyers access to finance options from Auto Trader’s long-standing partner Zuto, giving buyers access to up to 70 different finance products from 17 lenders.

1) Based on average loan values of Zuto applications multiplied by the total finance enquiries generated by consumers on Auto Trader.

2) Available to download: https://trade.autotrader.co.uk/market-report/

About Auto Trader

Auto Trader Group plc is the UK and Ireland’s largest digital automotive marketplace. Auto Trader sits at the heart of the UK’s vehicle buying process and its primary activity is to help vehicle retailers compete effectively on the marketplace in order to sell more vehicles, faster. Auto Trader listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2015 and is now a member of the FTSE 250 Index.

The marketplace brings together the largest and most engaged consumer audience. Auto Trader has over 88% prompted brand awareness and attracts an average of 55 million monthly cross platform visits a month, with circa 70% of visits coming through mobile devices.

The marketplace also has the largest pool of vehicle sellers (listing more than 470,000 cars each day). Over 80% of UK automotive retailers advertise on autotrader.co.uk.

For more information, please contact:

Andrew Nankervis | Andrew.nankervis@autotrader.co.uk

1 Based on average loan values of Zuto applications multiplied by the total finance enquiries generated by consumers on Auto Trader.

2 Available to download: https://trade.autotrader.co.uk/market-report/

After steadily increasing for 7 months, the average price of a used car reached an all-time high of £12,977 in Dec. Average diesel prices declined from a high of £14,661 in Oct. to £14,536, whilst petrol reached a record of £11,288. You can read more here: https://t.co/X9MZLisV4Y https://t.co/UMAknC3frw
On an annual basis, the percentage of fuel related searches attributed to diesel have declined 40% since 2016, whilst searches for alternatively fuelled vehicles have shot up 130% and pure electric 179%. Get the full story here: https://t.co/X9MZLisV4Y https://t.co/WcwRX0vf1b
The latest results from the Auto Trader Retail Price Index revealed that the average cost of a used car last year was £12,542; an annual increase of +5%. Second-hand diesels held their value, increasing +3%, whilst petrol grew +7%. You can read more here: https://t.co/X9MZLisV4Y https://t.co/3o4PbNwElY
The FLA reports consumer finance declined -1% in November, reflecting a slowing market. In reality finance is fuelling sales & with prices steadily increasing will be key to unlocking different types of consumer in 2019. Read more in our Market Report https://t.co/lnN0L8ykH2 https://t.co/GU3GI37Oeo
Did you know we've combined Part Ex valuations and Dealer Finance to give you even better quality leads? You can find out more by listening to our recent dedicated webinar: https://t.co/H1yf8kWPnS https://t.co/MMgcsLMFrO
According to the @SMMT, the new car market in 2018 recorded a -6.8% decline on 2017. Diesel dropped nearly -30% but the big winner was AFV, increasing +20.9%. With an array of 2nd gen electric vehicles set to hit the market, will 2019 see the popularity of EVs surge even more? https://t.co/Y6Na7afAJq
Happy 2019! Hopefully not too many sore heads this morning. Remember, December's browsers are ready to be turned into January's buyers - make sure your ads stand out from the crowd with these top tips https://t.co/x8MACPb8S3 https://t.co/x6Zv6U9RkJ
Happy new year to all our customers, partners & friends. Despite what's been a challenging year for the industry both the new & used markets have shown incredible resilience, with both ending 2018 in solid health. That's worth raising a glass to! Cheers https://t.co/zS1WlTUoxt
Auto Trader is a company made up of 800 people committed to providing our customers, car buyers and colleagues with the very best service, platform and work place possible. We're very proud to have received lots of recognition for that commitment in 2018 #proud https://t.co/cC55R67WP0
Did you know that 52% of consumers starting the car buying process already claim to consider the cost of a car as a monthly price, rather than the full retail price? Finance is now central to the car buying process & getting it right, will be key to growth in 2019. https://t.co/yW6gBn0ELO

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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