Used car price increases show no signs of slowing through August

The average price of a used car rose 6.2 per cent last week compared with the same period last year as the strong growth of used cars continues.

Data for the week commencing August 10 shows the market is in its 15th week of growth, which is being driven by demand for petrol and diesel vehicles. Last week petrol was up almost seven per cent while diesel was up more than six per cent.

However, alternatively fuelled vehicles, such as hybrid and electric vehicles, are seeing supply outstrip demand and as such saw a price contraction of about one per cent – marking the 13th consecutive week of prices decreasing.

Price increases are being largely driven by huge demand. Auto Trader, which released the data based on the approximately 12,500 retailers on its site, said it is seeing record traffic. During the week of August 10-16, traffic was up 26 per cent year-on-year.

Commenting on the results, Auto Trader’s director of data and insight, Richard Walker, said: “It’s encouraging to see that over two and a half months after forecourts were permitted to reopen, and with stock levels slowly returning to normal, prices have continued to climb.

“This is a result of the surge in consumer demand which shows no sign of slowing in August. While the majority of auction houses are yet to open their auction halls, online channels are close to pre-Covid-19 capacity levels, which has seen the supply challenges many retailers faced after lockdown easing in recent weeks.

“We’re hearing concerns over the impact economic uncertainty and the end of the government’s furlough scheme may have on the market. However, based on the exceptionally strong consumer metrics we’re observing on our marketplace, we’re confident that used car sales and prices will remain buoyant in the coming weeks.”