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.  

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

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