Press release

Retail Price Index | July 2020

July records largest used car price growth since August 2018

According to the latest data from Auto Trader’s Retail Price Index, which is based on pricing analysis of circa 900,000 vehicles every month, July saw the largest monthly increase in used cars prices since August 2018. The average sticker price of a used car last month was £13,888, which marks a 4.6% year-on-year increase on a like-for-like basis, and the fourth consecutive month of price growth.

This reflects the strong level of demand in the market, demand on Auto Trader has been sustained at records highs throughout July and does not show any signs of declining into August. Two months after showrooms in England were allowed to reopen, the Auto Trader marketplace continues to record an average of over two million visits each day. In July, there were a record 64.4 million cross platform visits.

The growth in prices is being driven by the strong performance of used internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, especially petrol, which last month saw average prices increase 5.6% (£12,604), marking the highest rate of growth since October 2018. Diesel recorded a similarly strong performance, with average prices increasing 4.1% (£14,705), the highest rate of growth since September 2014.

Supply and demand dynamics have a huge influence on price movement. Whilst ICE vehicles are recording high demand and low supply, the opposite is true for their low emission counterparts. As highlighted in Auto Trader’s Market Insight analytics, available to all retailers, the demand for pure electric vehicles (EV) has increased 75.2% year-on-year, while supply has overtaken it, up 87.7%. As a result, the average price of an EV in July fell - 4.3% to £25,639. Whilst alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFV) more broadly fared a little better, contracting at a rate of -1.1% (£22,508), marking five months of contracting prices.

Strong growth across all vehicle ages

Taking a more granular view of the market, due to growth in demand outstripping supply, price increases were recorded in every price band of used car. Demand for vehicles aged 10-15 years saw a year-on-year growth of 23% in July, while supply fell by -16%. This resulted in vehicles aged 10-15 years recording the highest price growth among any age group, surging 10.4% (£4,254). In contrast vehicles up to 12 months naturally had the lowest, at 2.6% (£26,500).

In terms of premium and volume brands, both saw demand outstrip supply last month. As a result, both saw an increase in average prices, with premium recording an average growth of 1.8% (£20,779) and volume 9.8% (£9,143).  

Commenting on the results, Auto Trader’s director of data and insight, Richard Walker, said: “Over the last few months, used car prices have benefited from high demand in the market whilst the supply side has  emerged more slowly from lockdown. Even when auctions reopened, the supply of new stock in the market has been slow to return to pre-COVID-19 levels, whilst demand has remained at record levels.

 “Looking ahead, at a time of economic uncertainty and with so many variables at play, we will continue to be data driven rather than publish opinion-based statements about the future. Whilst consumer demand shows no signs of slowing into August, we have seen that supply constraints are working their way through, so we expect the growth rate we’ve seen in recent month to stabilise somewhat, rather than continue to accelerate each month.”

Retailer pricing behaviour

During the lockdown period the number of retailers making price changes and the value of price adjustments was significantly lower than normal trading conditions. This has increased following the reopening of showrooms in June, however it remains below pre-COVID-19 levels.

In July, the average number of retailers making daily price changes was 1,999; up 14% on June, but 29% fewer than in July 2019. The average amount being changed on a daily basis was £263, which was an 11% increase on June, but a -22% decline on the same time last year.

Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, added:It is encouraging to see sustained growth in used car prices as it demonstrates that, despite the challenging economic circumstances, the public are placing their trust in cars as a means of safe and secure transport. It is interesting to see the greatest increase in value of diesel cars since September 2014.”

Great to see DealerDesk utilising our API to enable retailers to instantly publish and update their Auto Trader adverts without the traditional wait for old-fashioned stock feeds! https://t.co/RyCrCG1fl0
August saw record levels of demand from consumers seeking out their next vehicle. But with supply issues continuing, what can you do to ensure your forecourt remains stocked to meet demand? Find out in our latest blog by @MarcThornboroug👇https://t.co/tUerFkP4Qf
Register for our next webinar where we’ll be exploring the latest in automotive logistics with special guest Thomas Mallet of Ecomotive Logistics. We’ll also be sharing our final step in addressing admin fees along with an update on the market 👉 https://t.co/GWNbgNrxVg https://t.co/SNIlt3nfcE
155,000 vehicles are underpriced on Auto Trader, meaning that there is a staggering amount of profit being missed out on by retailers. Find out more and what you can do to ensure you’re not leaving any profit on the table in this week’s tip of the week with @AndrewKorpela https://t.co/vj8Ux1Z2Jn
The popularity of electric vehicles continues to grow with the @Hyundai_UK IONIQ 5 being the most viewed new car on our platform over the last month. Will we see an electric vehicle top of the list next month and what needs to be done to sustain interest? Let us know👇 https://t.co/gNbRriDIiV
The @KiaUK Soul EV came out top among consumers looking for an EV that offers great value, taking the Best Value Electric Car at the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2021. https://t.co/LcVmx4kwKO
Demand for vans continues to increase with last month seeing the number of leads per new van on our marketplace grow a staggering 44% compared to August 2020, a new record. Overall van leads are also up by 30% vs 2020. https://t.co/6h2zt1D54r
On 22nd September we’ll complete our admin fees journey by adding the admin fee into the total advertised price and reflecting this in our valuations and price indicators. Find out more in our latest blog👇 https://t.co/ZVRpYhssAA
We're delighted to be supporting this year's @BenSupport4Auto Ben Ball taking place on the 8th Dec at the Roundhouse. There are now just a handful of tables left so be sure to book yours now to avoid missing out 👉https://t.co/6jC6ZaoEND https://t.co/zQCWD0JCRg
Our latest Monthly Market Intelligence report is now live. Check it out now to discover our latest new and used car market insights along a focus on EV pricing👉https://t.co/g8bPs1X6CE https://t.co/gB6Zh0p8rF

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