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.

We've got something very exciting launching soon... Wednesday 7th October, save the date 👀 #RPM https://t.co/op0RVqngLN
The @KiaUK Sorento is currently the UK’s fastest selling car, taking an average of just 24 days to turn on UK forecourts according to our Fastest Selling Index. #atinsightoftheday #kia #mazda #peugeot #mercedes-benz https://t.co/0amym8KyIK
Join us on Thursday at 10am for our next #webinar to hear our latest #automotiveindustry updates and #insights and to hear from our CEO, Nathan Coe and @MarshallMotorGp Register now >https://t.co/knn3yUlJ3l https://t.co/HaxCu2EFss
Nathan Coe, our CEO, shared an update with our customers today reassuring them that Boris' announcement earlier this week has had no negative impact on consumer demand. Read Nathan's full thoughts on our latest blog post: https://t.co/sx37kiEHBY
Used car prices continue to climb with last week seeing overall used car prices increase by 7.7%, up from 7.4% the week before and the 20th week of consecutive price growth. #atinsightoftheday #usedcar #Pricing #Petrol #diesel #ElectricCars https://t.co/dmR56DmzNf
Following this week’s government announcement, @stuart_trader, @ClarkRjoclark and @therickw got together to share with you our latest #data & #insights and why there should be no cause for concern in the #AutomotiveIndustry. Watch now at https://t.co/Bch7T5zgYf https://t.co/fTBAjSqCzU
A large segment of buyers believe that owning a car is more important now than it was pre-#COVID19. With that in mind, have you experienced a surge in demand and how have you adapted to meet it? #atinsightoftheday #cardealers https://t.co/J7IikqsNyW
In light of yesterday’s @GOVUK announcement about the new #COVID19 restrictions, our CEO Nathan Coe provides you with the latest #automotive market update and reveals that all indications suggest that consumer demand will continue to remain strong https://t.co/k9dMUo0zCb
Simplifying the car buying process is key to ensuring buyers get their perfect car with ease. So what are you doing and what do you think still needs to be done to simplify the car buying journey? #atinsightoftheday https://t.co/IBp0CHzBgK
The Auto Trader Retailer Awards are back for 2020 in an all new digital format. Register now and join us live to find out if you are one of this year's winners > https://t.co/KwMTCYTfu9 https://t.co/pdnGmFmWcZ

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