Press release

Retail Price Index | June 2019

Average price of used cars remains strong, despite slowing price growth

  • Price growth of used cars is 0.1% - lowest since 2016
  • AFVs driving price growth at 4.9% - EVs record 11.2% price increase
  • Cars up to five years of age are bringing the used car price market down

With an average price of £12,763, used car price growth is almost neutral this month, at just 0.1% on last year - the lowest it’s been since Q3 2016 – according to the Auto Trader Retail Price Index. When looking at this data on a more granular level, it’s cars up to five years old which are responsible for slowing down overall growth.

Diesel price growth in reverse

Whilst the average price of a used car is only just increasing, the price growth for diesel is now in decline, at -0.5%, recording an average price of £14,123. Petrol remains in the black with 0.2% price growth and average prices remaining steady: £11,169.

EVs storming the market

While the figures for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles are crawling in growth, price growth for alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) continue to grow apace with 4.9% year-on-year price growth and an average price of £21,759. Electric vehicles are driving the price growth with gusto at 11.2% and the average price continues to rise to unprecedented levels: £24,985 up from £23,771 last month.

Age is not just a number

Trends in the used car market are most notable when comparing ages. Cars up to five years of age have dropped to -0.4% price growth while those aged five years and older are balancing those figures, at 1.6%. Cars aged three to five years are particularly struggling at a decline of -0.6%. This is likely due to the increased number of cars in that age range; 2016 was a record year for the new car market causing significant overheating. Fleet cars will too have impacted these numbers, and as they return to retailers now, there’s higher supply and lower demand.

Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Director of Commercial Products at Auto Trader, comments: “Used car prices are trending towards a neutral rate, and it would not be surprising if we started to see negative figures. This is likely to be driven by several factors impacting consumers; Brexit and the ongoing confusion – not helped by the change in Prime Minister – and the mixed messaging around alternatively fuelled vehicles. It cannot be denied that over recent months we have continued to see price growth increase which is not sustainable. Right now, the demand isn’t as strong as we have seen previously but supply is and as such, prices have adjusted accordingly.”

Meanwhile, used cars which are around three years old with circa 60,000 miles on the clock have dropped by 8.9%. This is down to the seasonal trend; prices decrease in April, May and June following an influx of stock in the market driven by the plate change. This saturation in the market leads prices to decrease. Albeit the drop this month is more severe than we’ve seen previously.

Search volumes

The percentage of searches by fuel type is unchanged this month and continues to be dominated by petrol with 51%, diesels are at 41% and AFVs have 8% share of search. The most searched for used car this month is the BMW 3-Series, followed by the VW Golf, Mercedes E-Class, BWM 1-Series and Ford Focus.

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

Keep in touch

We use social media to speak to the UK’s largest car buying audience