Used car prices seeing record growth as buyers flock to dealerships

Demand for used cars is driving record price growth, new figures have revealed.

The latest data from online car marketplace Auto Trader shows used car prices increased for the fifth consecutive month in August, which was the record monthly price increase seen on the site.

The average price of a used car was £13,705, which marked a 6.1 per cent year-on-year increase.

Auto Trader says demand is currently outstripping supply as buyers flood the market. It recorded 67.1 million cross platform visits to its website in August, a 30 per cent increase on August 2019 and a spike above the already ‘huge’ traffic seen in June (64m) and July (67m).

Records are being broken across the market, too, with diesel seeing record price growth of six per cent. This was driven by supply being up almost 20 per cent while supply was down more than 20 per cent.

As for body styles, hatchbacks recorded the biggest price increase at 10.7 per cent, but SUVs saw the highest demand at 37 per cent.

Commenting on the results, Auto Trader’s director of data and insight, Richard Walker, said: “Over the last five months we’ve observed a very positive trajectory for used car prices, driven largely by supply challenges and extremely strong consumer-led demand.

“Although some of the supply constraints had begun to ease with the reopening of online auctions, many of our customers are reporting that they continue to face difficulty in sourcing wholesale stock. Combined with the massive acceleration in demand on our marketplace, whilst the trajectory may begin to level off slightly, we’re confident prices will remain buoyant over the coming months.

“It’s very reassuring to see such huge demand in the market as we enter into what will be a key month for the industry on its road to recovery. September is typically the second highest monthly volume for new cars, but as March was cut short and with such exceptionally strong consumer metrics, it may very well represent the largest sales month of 2020.”

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