Press release

Used car transactions | Q1 2022

Auto Trader's commercial director, Ian Plummer, shares his thoughts on the latest used car sales figures from the SMMT

“If there are fewer new cars rolling off the production line, then it stands to reason that there are fewer used cars to be sold. Today’s figures underline the point with a not insignificant slide in used car sales compared to pre-Covid levels. The lingering supply chain crunch means fleet operators and leasing firms are hanging on to vehicles for much longer, further limiting the number of used cars entering the market. The real pinch point is for younger used cars aged less than three years old, as there are at least 2m fewer available compared to pre-pandemic levels. This is due to the massive recent shortfall in new car sales – caused by the double whammy of forecourt closures and the global shortage of semi-conductors.

“The key point though is where used cars are available, demand is still very robust. Whilst younger cars have been heavily impacted by the new car market, from the 202m visits to our platform during the first quarter, we saw a strong appetite for older cars - particularly those between five and ten years old - where stock is much less of an issue. Sales in this segment were up a huge 20% on 2019.

“This demand, coupled with the broader squeeze on supply has continued to drive very strong price growth, with our latest data showing average prices were up over 32% in April. Contrary to some speculation, despite a softening in month-on-month price growth, anyone expecting a significant drop in retail prices anytime soon will be sorely disappointed.

“Meanwhile the cost-of-living squeeze and war in Ukraine pushed far more would-be buyers towards used electric vehicles. Reflecting the huge growth in sales, our marketplace data showed 12.4m advert views for used EVs in the first quarter, a significant 65% jump in the past 12 months.”

We're excited to announce that, as of 1st July, we'll be powering the used car pages on @whatcar and its sister site, @autocar. https://t.co/H4GJLafkh7
We're excited to announce that, as of 1st July, we'll be powering the used car pages on @whatcar and its sister site, @autocar. https://t.co/H4GJLafkh7
What are the three big barriers to electric vehicle adoption and how can we as an industry help to overcome them? Find out in the latest edition of The Road to 2030 report 👉https://t.co/ho4cNqeUsQ https://t.co/qlA2IX6EiF
Are you getting the basics right? Find out in this week's tip of the week where @AndrewKorpela highlights the need to maintain your digital best practises. https://t.co/Rkm0nKu19B
One of the most recent entrants to the EV market, the @CUPRA Born, is currently seeing the most advert views of any new EV on our marketplace. With a new EV model set to enter the market every 10 days this year, what model do you think we'll see make the list? https://t.co/nOcF7YguLg
We've been working with manufacturers to get you access to the specification profile for each car and we're excited to announce that this is now available to retailers, helping you to make creating high-quality adverts easier than ever. Find out more 👇 https://t.co/lv2kLf4E77
After a slight technical glitch @therickw is live and sharing our latest market data. Demand has seen a decline but used car prices remain robust. https://t.co/lSNLB6rLrg
Over now to @MarcThornboroug who asks "is it time to reset your goals"? Last year's performance was incredibly strong across the market, being very much a seller's market. But in recent weeks we have seen it start to shift towards a buyers market. https://t.co/BVEiBdl9Dy
We're kicking off today's webinar with @marc_palmer. Right now the economy is the top issue for many people with the cost of living crisis in full swing and the spectre of a recession looming. But what does this mean for car sales? Read the thread to find out 👇 https://t.co/ZMErCURxJU

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