Auto Trader sees 98th week of consecutive price growth, up 28.5%


The average price of a used car on Auto Trader grew 28.5% last week on a year-on-year (YoY) and like-for-like basis.

This marked the 98th week of consecutive price growth.

While growth remains strong, the run of acceleration that has characterised the used car market since spring of last year is showing signs of easing slightly, with the current rate of growth below the all-time high of 29% YoY recorded in the closing weeks of February.

The slight easing can be attributed to the fact YoY prices are now beginning to overlap with previous highs (this time last year, average prices were up 5.9% YoY), as well as a slight softening in consumer demand. This is due to a combination of factors, including three consecutive storms and the resulting flooding in parts of the UK, as well as the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

However, traffic to Auto Trader’s marketplace remains strong with a consistent 1.4 million daily users. This is further supported by the faster speed at which retailers are selling cars. Last week it took an average of just 25 days for stock to leave forecourts. This is 29% faster than the speed of sale recorded a year ago (35 days), and is the lowest weekly average in five months.

Auto Trader’s Data and Insights Director, Richard Walker, said: “Given the headlines over recent weeks, a slight softening in what has been a long period of exceptionally strong consumer demand is to be expected. However, it is not an indication of a market in reverse and anyone anticipating a sudden drop in prices will be disappointed. Despite the potential headwinds, demand remains buoyant, which combined with the ongoing pressures on new and used car supply, which the current conflict in Ukraine may constrain even further, will ensure used car prices remain high for some time to come.”


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