Record levels of consumer demand driving used car price growth

Darren Cassey, PA Motoring Reporter
·1-min read

Dealers reopening last week has driven a record surge in demand for used cars, which has seen prices continue to go up.

Data from online car marketplace Auto Trader indicates that the average price of a used car between April 12 – 18 was up 5.7 per cent year-on-year.

Consumer activity was up massively on the platform in the same period, with an average of 2.2 million visits per day, up 38.8 per cent on 2019 – a more accurate representation than looking at traffic this time last year, which was artificially low during the first lockdown.

Big Motoring World car dealership
(Blackball Media)

Couple this increased activity with the fact supply in the market was down 4.3 per cent while demand increased 39.2 per cent, and it’s no surprise to see prices go up – marking the 49th consecutive week of price increases.

Auto Trader’s director of data and insight, Richard Walker, said: “Despite most retailers making a huge success of online retailing during the lockdown, it’s extremely satisfying to see last week’s full reopening of forecourts being met with such strong levels of consumer demand on our marketplace.

“Along with the anecdotal feedback from our retailer partners of a very busy week it gives us great confidence in the outlook for the rest of 2021.”

Earlier this week, Auto Trader released the results of a study that indicated that 17-24-year-olds would be driving the boom in post-lockdown car sales. Researchers found this age group had saved an average of £2,000 during the pandemic, with 61 per cent considering spending it on a new car.