Press release

Continued price strength reflects confident outlook for market health

The latest pricing update from Auto Trader's marketplace 

Despite the current lockdown restrictions in place across the UK, the latest data from Auto Trader revealed used car prices remain very strong. Based on the circa 514,000 vehicles advertised on its marketplace, last week (8th – 14th February) average prices increased 6.5% year-on-year (YoY) on a like-for-like basis. Whilst the rate of growth has slowed slightly since the peak of 8.5% in mid-December (w/c 21st December), it marks 41 weeks of consecutive price growth.

Although there’s some continued pressure on supply, the lockdown is having less impact on demand than previous lock downs. Last week, there were 14.2 million visits to Auto Trader, which is an increase of 4.5% on the same period last year and consumers spent a total of 139.6 million minutes on the marketplace, up 4.4% YoY.  

Retailers hold firm

Looking at the pricing behaviour of retailers last week, the number of those making price changes and the value of their adjustments is generally in line with pre-COVID levels and consistent with what would normally be expected in January and February.  

Last week an average of 2,448 retailers made daily price adjustments, which is just four fewer than the same period last year. A total of 17,608 vehicles were repriced during the week, and in terms of the adjustments being made, the average reduction was £290, which is at the lower end of the £250-£550 typically adjusted during normal trading conditions. It’s indicative of retailers holding firm with their pricing strategies.

Commenting, Auto Trader’s director of data and insight, Richard Walker, said: “Whilst the current challenges are clear, we continue to see reasons for positivity, and expect to see another period of healthy retail demand once restrictions are eased. In addition to the strong consumer metrics we’re recording on our marketplace, there are a number of key external factors which will help drive strong automotive demand post lockdown. These include positive sentiment towards car ownership, the ongoing aversion to public transport and reduced spending in other retail categories.

 “What’s more, the latest Bank of England findings show average household finances are better off than they were pre-pandemic. This reflects our own research which suggests consumers' confidence in being able to afford their next car was at its highest level since we began tracking it in January 2020.”

Diesel and petrol price growth eases   

Looking at the data on a more granular level, the movements in petrol and diesel prices largely mirror the wider market, with both recording robust rates of growth, albeit slowing slightly on previous weeks.

The average price of a used diesel car increased 8.7% YoY last week, which was a marginal decrease on the 8.8% recorded the week before. Used petrol prices grew a more conservative 6.0% YoY, however, it marked a slightly steeper easing on the 6.4% the prior week.  

Registration for the Auto Trader Retailer Awards 2021 is now live. Join us on the 22nd July at 1pm when we will reveal this year's winners and share with you exactly what you need to do to be an award winning retailer.https://t.co/1ERMd80FJD
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Next up our Head of SEO, @AdamWhittles, shares some of the latest optimisations we've made to your Retailer Store to help enhance your SEO. https://t.co/Tss2FOhmxo
A quick summary from @MarcThornboroug on the current market and the need to ensure you are re-pricing and pricing to market. https://t.co/Ax8KmrH3cg
A quick summary from @MarcThornboroug on the current market and the need to ensure you are re-pricing and pricing to market. https://t.co/Ax8KmrH3cg
Used car prices continue to rise and there is potential to increase the profitability of your forecourt if you keep up to date with price changes and price to market. https://t.co/14JHVVgF6q
Our latest audience update shows that user volumes on our platform are up 4.7% vs 2020 and 31% vs 2019 https://t.co/wgOZNdudlT
Our latest audience update shows that user volumes on our platform are up 4.7% vs 2020 and 31% vs 2019 https://t.co/wgOZNdudlT
The @MercedesBenzUK GLA continues to be the fastest selling car in the UK, taking an average of just 23 days to turn on retailers forecourts right now. https://t.co/hcDxlDWwSQ
The @MGmotor ZS was awarded the Best Value New Car at this year's Auto Trader New Car Awards. Owners of the ZS highlighted the combination of great quality, reliability and performance, mixed in with a fair price and low running costs. https://t.co/2etPaVt2UB

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

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

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

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