Used car demand still inflating prices

The average price of a used car has risen 19.5% in the last year.

According to data from the Auto Trader Retail Price Index, which is based on analysis of about 900,000 vehicles, the average price of a used car was £17,173 in July.

However, last month’s growth rate is down on the all-time high of 32.2% recorded in April. The current slow down is due in part to comparisons with the exceptionally high prices recorded in July 2021 and, taking a longer view, last month the average price of a used car was up over £3,300 on average prices recorded in July 2020, and £4,100 than average prices in July 2019.

Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s director of data and insights, said: “With price growth softening it would be easy to misinterpret the data as a market in reverse or in decline, particularly against the current backdrop of economic uncertainty. But our data, which is based on the largest and most accurate view of the automotive market, shows that is simply not the case. And whilst demand is easing against last year’s once-in-a-lifetime levels, with almost four million new and used car transactions ‘lost’ since 2020, combined with packed new car order books – and very lengthy waiting times – demand for used cars remains. Coupled with ongoing supply challenges, anyone predicting a crash in used car prices any time soon, will be sorely disappointed.”