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.”

Whilst the current market is far from predictable, it’s a safe bet that those buyers looking to make a purchase early next year are looking at your adverts on our marketplace right now. So what do you need to do to prepare for January?👇
EVs have proven again to be a bright spot in the latest @SMMT figures says @IanJPlummer. Fuel anxiety, greater environmental awareness, and the ‘cool factor’ are all helping to drive sales.
The record growth we’ve seen in used car prices in recent months shows no signs of slowing with November marking the 20th month of consecutive price growth. So where are prices currently at and what we can expect in the near future. Find out now 👉
Did you know that 42% of buyers in January this year did their research in December 2020? With this trend set to continue this year, @AndrewKorpela shares some advice on how to entice January's buyers to your adverts right now, setting you up for success next year.
It's no secret that we've seen the number of buyers considering an electric vehicle grow through 2021. But are buyers really interested in electric vehicles and how does this translate into buying intent? Find out in our The Road to 2030 Report👉
We recently marked our 1 year anniversary since we launched RPM, our online learning platform for retailers. In the last 12 months, we’ve found that retailers who’ve attended these masterclasses go on to sell their vehicles 10% quicker! Find out more -
Auto Trader Connect is now live to all retailers who requested access and who's partners have integrated with us. Auto Trader Connect puts the power of real-time data in your hands, enabling you to more efficiently manage your forecourt. Find out more -
We're still seeing retailers underpricing stock. With demand still high, there is a huge opportunity to make additional profit by pricing to market.
Of all the sales in January 2021, 42% were the result of searches made in December 2020. Make sure you're advertising all of your stock now so that you can kick of 2022 with a bang.
We’ve seen 4 years of price growth in just 5 months and this shows no signs of slowing, with mid November seeing the average price of a used car rising to a staggering £19,852.

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