Press release

Used car transactions | Q3 2021

Auto Trader's Commercial Director, Ian Plummer, offers his view on the latest used car sales data from the SMMT

Ian Plummer, Commercial Director of Auto Trader, the UK’s largest automotive marketplace, said:

“The well-publicised supply issues that have affected new car sales are starting to be felt in the used car market. Whilst we continue to see huge levels of consumer demand, as evident in the over 200 million visits to our marketplace in Q3 - a 32% increase on the same period two years ago - the lack of stock availability is beginning to impact sales volumes and undermining the potential opportunities these high demand levels should offer. From what we’re tracking in the market, supply was down around -12% in Q3, when compared with 2019.

“As a result of these supply constraints, coupled with the exceptionally strong demand, used car pricing continues its upward trajectory. In fact, October marked the 19th consecutive month of growth, with prices increasing a record 25.6% year-on-year. Astonishingly, nearly one in four of the nearly new cars available in the market (those aged up to 12 months) are currently more expensive than their brand-new equivalents. And further highlighting just how much demand there is in the market, in Q3 the average used car sold nearly 14% faster than it did in 2019 (25 days vs. 29).  

“It is good to see sales of used electric vehicles powering ahead, but we should not be fooled. Based on what we’re tracking, we estimate there to be around 317,000 electric vehicles in the UK’s car parc, which equates to just about 1 per cent of the total. Other European markets are making a much better fist of driving mass adoption with a smarter approach to incentives and more comprehensive set of enabling policies.

“As for the health of the market overall, based on what we’re seeing with current levels of demand and supply we expect to see about 7.75 million sales this year, which given the incredibly turbulent market conditions that’s still a very impressive performance.”

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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