Press release

Quick Sale Car Buying Websites Are Taking Brits For A Ride

New data reveals that 'impatience factor' can lose sellers an average of £1,254 when selling their car on well-known 'quick sale' website

  • Brits lose an average of £1,254 when selling to a well-known car buying site*
  • Women lose out significantly more than men with an average loss of £1,727 vs £958 for men, once the price of their car has been chipped off further following a visit to the forecourt*
  • Auto Trader has launched a ‘money wasters helpline’ to offer free private valuations and advice and guidance on selling, as well as vouchers for placing free private adverts on Auto Trader

New research has revealed that the instant gratification culture amongst Brits is costing people cash – with the average ‘quick sale’ of second-hand cars meaning sellers are losing thousands of pounds off the value of their vehicle.

The study of 2,734 people, undertaken by research consultancy Acacia Avenue, found that people who sold their car on in the last two years received £1,254 less, on average, than the actual market value of those who sold on Auto Trader*.

Shockingly, women’s car prices are being chipped away further, with an average loss of £1,728 when selling their car on quick sale platform, That’s an astonishing £770 less than the average male seller, who ‘only’ loses a staggering £958.

Run around vehicles:

Valuations based on cars registered in 2017 based on 20,000 miles **


Auto Trader valuation

WBAC valuation

Price difference

Mini Hatch




Volkswagen Golf




Mercedes A-Class




Nissan Qashqai




Vauxhall Corsa




Ford Fiesta 




High performance vehicles:

Valuations based on cars registered in 2017 based on 20,000 miles **


Auto Trader valuation

WBAC valuation

Price difference

Bentley Continental




Audi R8








Porsche Cayenne




Range Rover Sport




In response, Auto Trader, the UK’s largest digital marketplace for new and used cars, has launched a helpline for consumers who have lost significant amounts of money by selling their cars instantly to car buying sites.

For one day only, Auto Trader will open a helpline encouraging motorists to get in touch if they feel they’ve lost out on profits when they sold their car through a quick sale platform.

For those calling the helpline, they will be offered free private valuations and advice and guidance on selling, as well as discount codes for placing private adverts on Auto Trader.

A spokesperson for Auto Trader, said: “The inconvenient truth of choosing convenience over money is that it could lose you thousands of pounds when it comes to selling your car.

“These findings show the importance of knowing your car’s value, highlighting how the briefest of research can help you understand the various options available to you and the varied financial returns.

“Auto Trader offers free market-leading valuations for car owners so they can compare prices for different methods of selling, offering the information to make a decision that’s right for them without the regret of losing significant value from their vehicle.”

The helpline will be advertised outside one of’s Manchester portacabins, throughout Thursday, encouraging consumers to get in touch if they feel they have lost out on profits by selling their car elsewhere.

To contact the Auto Trader Money Wasters Hotline to obtain a discount code, telephone 0800 233 5511 between 9am – 3pm on Thursday 24th October.

- ENDS –


*Based on a survey of 5,949 people who have sold cars in the past two years, of which 2,734 people sold via Auto Trader or which are the relevant channels for the purpose of this claim. Data collected between 20th September – 15th October 2019.

** The above tables highlight the first valuations from We Buy Any car, not the actual price sold.

Car buying sites are online providers of ‘convenience car sales’ methods who will provide an instant online quote for your vehicle and will purchase cars of any age, make or model, without the seller being required to advertise the vehicle through classified advertising channels.

The difference between what each car was sold at and the actual valuation of the car at the time of sale is calculated by comparing the difference between the stated sold price of each car in the survey and the Auto Trader Guide Valuation for each car at the time of sale. The average difference is then calculated for each of (1) all cars in the survey sold via Auto Trader, and (2) all cars in the survey sold via, and compared to produce the figure quoted. All sellers of cars up to 15 years old giving information required for Auto Trader Guide Valuation.

Auto Trader’s Guide Valuation is an award-winning service providing an accurate reflection of the live retail market. Our valuations are based on over 1.9 million vehicles each day, including 90,000 vehicle updates and an average of 19,000 vehicles added or removed from Auto Trader. Coupled with data from circa 450,000 trade used car listings every day, as well as additional dealer forecourt and website data.

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 100 Index.

The marketplace brings together the largest and most engaged consumer audience. Auto Trader has over 90% prompted brand awareness and attracts circa 50 million monthly cross platform visits each month, with over 70% of visits coming through mobile devices.

The marketplace also has the largest pool of vehicle sellers (listing around 450,000 cars each day). Around 80% of UK automotive retailers advertise on

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For all media enquiries, please contact:

Rebecca Nassiri |

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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
M15 4FN
VAT number: GB 614 8918 20

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