Rise in average used car price driven by women, data shows

The average price paid for used cars rose throughout 2020, with women driving this increase, according to new research.

Overall prices are ending the year 6.3 per cent higher than at the start, but women specifically are buying cars that are, on average, 60 per cent higher than they were in April.

Data from online car marketplace Buyacar.co.uk shows prices fluctuated massively over the year because of pandemic restrictions, reaching a record high by the end of the summer.

However, women’s buying habits have shifted dramatically in just a few months. Buyacar says they usually buy cars that are an average of £4,000 less expensive than those bought by men, but that gap has closed to just £800 – and the average price women are paying for cars shows no signs of slowing.

The upswing began in April while the country was in lockdown, with online traffic spiking as people looked for ways to pass the time, or find ways to spend money that would have otherwise been spent on holidays.

Buyacar says women are also buying older cars as a way of upgrading to more desirable models, making up more than half of buyers for cars built in 2013 and 2014.

Andy Oldham, chief executive of BuyaCar.co.uk, said: “The industry has known for a long time that women are more likely to prefer the online buying experience to that of the traditional showroom environment and our figures for this record sales year show that they are voting with their money like never before.

“The fact that this surge in sales to women in particular has been happening during 2020 suggests a possible link with the disruption to the traditional market caused by the coronavirus problem, but more work is needed to understand the trend.

“But what we certainly know is that women are driving the appetite for more expensive and desirable cars and are choosing to get more car for their money by looking at slightly older models than before.”

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