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.”

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[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

This week saw the highest level of new electric car advert views on Auto Trader since the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol & diesel vehicles was announced, with almost 14% of all new car advert views being for an electric car last Thursday. Will we see this trend continue? https://t.co/sczaVjTeoV
It’s all hands on deck for this week’s tip of the week where @AndrewKorpela shares some best practises to help you keep your forecourt full and ensure the stock on your forecourt is presented in the best possible way. https://t.co/6Lsf00QIRM
In our next webinar, our CEO Nathan Coe joins us to answer the question “Are Auto Trader Buying Cars?” Register now and join us live to find out what he has to say along with all our latest market updates and insights 👉https://t.co/METGnTcqB8 https://t.co/UT1hMfHtqo
The number of people viewing electric vehicles on our platform continues to grow and right now it is the @Tesla Model S that is attracting more advert views than any other electric vehicle on our platform. https://t.co/Q0c8imqzCP
The number of people viewing electric vehicles on our platform continues to grow and right now it is the @Tesla Model S that is attracting more advert views than any other electric vehicle on our platform. https://t.co/Q0c8imqzCP
When it comes to city driving, the @renault_uk Captur came out top at the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2021, winning the Best Car for City Drivers award. https://t.co/FrHpVBTLvb
Buyers looking at petrol and diesel vehicles are increasingly considering an electric vehicle. But considerations are comparatively low when we look at those considering a plug-in hybrid, with 40.6% of such buyers considering an electric vehicle. https://t.co/cyfmYVw5xk
Wondering what's next for car dealers now that restrictions have been eased? Check out last week's webinar to find out what you can expect over the coming months and how to prepare👉 https://t.co/bGqkGxArP3 https://t.co/79L9B623fs
How are our vehicle valuations calculated? @nchking has the answer, and shares exactly how our award winning valuations are calculated entirely by data. https://t.co/u0HIGWAXot
Fantastic to see our winners getting the recognition they deserve! https://t.co/1vrF4Tjo2e

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