Press release

Retail Price Index | June 2021

Record price growth as demand fuels exceptional Q2 sales performance 


According to the latest results from the Auto Trader Retail Price Index, which is based on daily pricing analysis of circa 900,000 vehicles, the average price of a used car in June was £14,276; a year-on-year (YoY) and like-for-like increase of 11.1%. As well as the 15th consecutive month of price growth, it marks the highest single month-on-month price growth ever recorded by the Index, and by some margin, increasing sharply from the 8.1% YoY increase recorded in May.

This price growth has been driven by the huge levels of consumer demand in the market, which was reflected in the increased traffic to Auto Trader. In June, there were 66.6 million cross platform visits, representing a 34% increase on the same period in 2019, whilst consumers spent 10.1 million hours researching their next car on the marketplace, which is a 25% increase.

Speed of sale accelerates as demand fuels record Q2 sales performance

Another testament to the underlying levels of demand in the market is the increased speed in which retailers are selling cars.  Last month, it took an average of just 23 days for new stock to leave forecourts, five days faster than June 2019 (28).

As a result of the huge demand in the market, according to Auto Trader’s proxy sales data[i], many retailers are reporting record used car sales performance, with Q2 2021 volumes increasing around 12% on the same period in 2019.

Acceleration in retailers increasing forecourt prices

Such is the strength of the market, Auto Trader continues to see fewer retailers adjusting prices on fewer vehicles, as well as a notable increase in the number of retailers making positive price adjustments across their forecourts. In fact, during the final week of June, of those retailers making daily adjustments, 37% increased their sticker prices, which is up on the 32% recorded in May and 22% in April, a clear sign of the intensification of pricing activity. Early observations suggest this has already increased further in July.

Commenting on the results, Auto Trader’s director of data and insight, Richard Walker, said: “Whilst supply constraints have compounded the situation, this massive acceleration in used car price is being driven by record levels of demand in the market. We’ve barely started to catch back the 1.7 million ‘lost’ transactions in 2020 while retailer showrooms were closed. Coupled with the strong levels of disposable income and savings, as well as improving consumer confidence and low interest rates, it’s safe to expect very high demand to continue for the rest of this year.

The steep trajectory we’ve been recording will begin to balance out as pressure on supply channels eases and the current levels of demand soften. However, we have every confidence we’ll see strong levels of price growth for a good period of time to come.” 

Diesel growth tops all-time record

The huge month-on-month leap in price growth recorded across the total market, was also seen at a more micro level. Used diesel prices, which have been increasing at a rate higher than any other fuel types since November 2020, jumped from 10.2% YoY in May, to a massive 13.1% growth in June, with an average sticker price of £14,706. It marks the highest single level of growth recorded since Auto Trader began tracking used prices in 2011. The average price of a used petrol car last month was £12,836, which is a 9.6% YoY increase – three percentage points higher than the already significant growth recorded in May (6.5%).

The average price growth of a used volume[ii] electric vehicle (EV) was only slightly more conservative than its petrol counterpart, increasing 9.2% YoY (£22,050) last month. Whilst average prices of premium EVs [iii]continue to contract, down -7.0% YoY (£44, 441), it is slightly less pronounced than the -8.7% drop recorded in May. This decline in prices is due to the very strong levels of supply in the market, outperforming an otherwise very robust level of consumer demand.

Sue Robinson, NFDA Chief Executive, added: “The high levels of continued consumer demand are encouraging for both NFDA members and the UK economy as a whole. As further restrictions are scheduled to be lifted, franchised dealers continue to operate in secure and safe environments where consumers can physically acquaint themselves with their next vehicle purchase.”


[i]  Based on the levels of stock removed from Auto Trader

[ii] Volume EV brands categorised as: Ford, Volkswagen, Vauxhall, Peugeot, Nissan, Citroen, Kia, Hyundai, MG, Renault, SEAT, SKODA, Honda, Toyota, Fiat, Suzuki, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Smart, Dacia, Jeep, Subaru

[iii] Premium EV brands categorised as: Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Jaguar, Tesla, Volvo, MINI, DS AUTOMOBILES, Lexus, Abarth, Alfa Romeo

We've extended the deadline to complete our digital retailing survey being run in partnership with the @RMI_NFDA and ICDP. Complete the survey before Friday to receive a personalised benchmark report👉
Join our next webinar where we’ll be sharing how you can sell vehicles at pace, whilst extracting the most profit and ensuring you allow time to restock and optimise your forecourt. Register now👉
What do Canadian Thanksgiving and @AndrewKorpela's appetite have to do with buying a car online? Find out in this week's tip of the week where we share some tips on how to grab the attention of a growing buyer segment.
The speed at which used cars sell continues to remain far below what we saw before the pandemic, with last months analysis showing that it took a median of just 24 days for used cars to sell, 3 days quicker than in August.
Fantastic news 🥳 A huge thank you to everyone that voted for us this year - we're very proud and delighted that our retailer partners have gotten so much value from our platform, particularity during such a challenging period for our industry
COP26 has been dominating headlines over the last few weeks. But what exactly is it? What impact could it have on the automotive industry and why does it matter to you?
Find out how @HendyGroup, @LookersGroup, @westwaynissan and @PeterVardy are embracing the electric vehicle revolution and enticing consumers into making the switch👉
In our latest market update, we share our latest audience data and look at whether we are continuing to see strong levels of demand from consumers.
It's Friday which can only mean 1 thing. It's tip of the week time! In this episode, @AndrewKorpela goes through the findings of the telephone phase of our mystery shopping and explains how you can make the most from a telephone enquiry.
September was a month of records for the automotive industry. But we also saw some unexpected challenges and opportunities. Find out more in our latest Market Intelligence report which details our latest insights along with the impact of the fuel crisis👉

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

Keep in touch

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