Car buyers have more to spend

Latest data from Auto Trader suggests consumer confidence is on the rise.

A representative sample of the most popular cars on the site in April revealed buyers may be willing to pay nearly a third more for the right model than they were two years ago.

Auto Trader analysts looked at cars that were three years old with between 20,000 and 30,000 miles on the clock. They then looked at individual ad views in April, rather than just visitors browsing the Auto Trader site, to hone in more precisely on those with an intention to buy. On average they found that potential buyers were looking at cars with a 32% higher asking price than they were back in April 20131

Year    Average asking Price
April 2015    £21,844
April 2014    £19,045
April 2013    £16,586

‘Our analysis implies that buyers are willing to pay significantly more for good quality cars than they were two years ago,’ explained Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s trade solutions director. ‘That might seem surprising, considering noise in the marketplace around volumes of pre-registered vehicles. However, prices haven’t softened, consumer confidence continues to improve and demand is outstripping supply.’

‘Using ad views rather than site searches was important for the analysis,’ she added. ‘More than half of buyers now arrive on a forecourt without any prior contact with a dealer so the ad view is now one of the best means of focusing on potential leads or those with an intention to buy. In the new era of the digital buyer, it is like a virtual walk around the car, something buyers used to do on the forecourt itself.’