Used car prices remain above pre-pandemic levels despite growth ‘softening’

·2-min read

Used car prices remain above pre-pandemic levels despite a ‘softening’ in growth, according to new data.

Figures from Auto Trader’s latest retail price index – which is based on analysis of around 900,000 vehicles – found that the average price of a used car soared by 23.7 per cent year-on-year in June to £17,252.

Yet despite the increase in prices, Auto Trader says that the market is showing signs of ‘softening’ after May’s year-on-year increases of 28.4 per cent. That followed on from a rise of 32.8 per cent in April – the biggest ever recorded.

It still means that average used car prices have risen by £3,300 in the last two years and £4,500 in the last three.

Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s director of data and insights, said: “Although the huge growth in used car prices we’ve been tracking over the last few years may continue to soften over the coming months, there’s certainly no indication in current data that prices are set to tumble.

Auto Trader says that ‘context is key’, with any comparisons made to 2021 likely to be distorted due to the year’s incredible demand for used cars which came as a result of post-lockdown buyers entering the market and a general shortage in the supply of new cars. Compared with pre-pandemic levels, demand remains strong – though advert views on Auto Trader’s site have dipped by eight per cent year-on-year, they’re up by more than 10 per cent on 2019’s figures.

The volume of used car enquiries being sent to retailers is also up by 67 per cent on June 2019.

Walker added: “Despite the clear economic headwinds, we remain confident of continued consumer demand in the market, which coupled with ongoing supply challenges in both the new and used car market, prices will remain strong for the foreseeable future.”

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