The average price of a used car on Auto Trader hit a record high of £20,340 last week, up 29% like-for-like from the same period last year.
This marked the 93rd consecutive week of price growth.
Such is the acceleration in used car prices, the average price of a used car on Auto Trader has risen by over £4,200 in just six months; down from £16,096 in mid-August, when the rate of growth was almost half of what it is today (15% down from 29%).
This acceleration is fueled by the persistent imbalance of supply and demand in the market – the persistent constraints in the supply of new and used cars, coupled with exceptionally high levels of consumer demand.
Despite current inflation rates, the latest results from Auto Trader’s consumer sentiment survey, conducted in January, suggest minimal impact on buying intentions. Of around 4,100 car buyers, 26% intend to buy within the next three months, while 37% intend to do so within two weeks, up from 35% in December.
Auto Trader’s chief data and insights officer, Richard Walker, said: “While inflation will always be a potential headwind for demand, based on the positive consumer metrics we are following in the retail market , as well as broader economic factors such as falling unemployment. rate and record number of vacancies, we do not expect a significant slack anytime soon. As a result, with such high levels of demand and no end in sight for the current supply challenges, we can expect the strong year-over-year price growth to continue through the middle of the year.
“Growing used car prices have the potential to put additional pressure on consumers already facing pressure from the rising cost of living. However, it should be noted that it is not just the price of the car in the forecourt that has gone up – so has the car in the driveway This means that for most car buyers, if you have one to sell or trade in, the higher prices thumbnails should be relative.