Used car market records 29th month of growth

The latest data from the Auto Trader Retail Price Index suggests the used car market remains strong.

It found that average used car prices continued to grow year-on-year in August, increasing 15.6% on a like for like basis, marking the 29th month of consecutive price growth.

At a more granular level, prices also increased 0.3% from July to August.

Despite the current backdrop of economic uncertainty, Auto Trader remains confident that the current levels of demand in the market will be sustained, driven by a number of important factors, not least the huge backlog of people waiting for a driving test. More broadly, demand will be fuelled by the fact cars are a fundamental need as opposed to a discretionary luxury.

Meanwhile, half of those surveyed saying that not being able to rely on public transport was a primary motivation to owning a car, which is up from a third (36%) in February 2020.

Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s director of data and insights, said: “We’ve seen a number of misleading comments recently suggesting that the market is in a steep decline, prices are on the verge of crashing, or consumer demand has plummeted, but these are either based on insufficient data or a simple misinterpretation. Similar predictions have been made since the very beginning of the pandemic, but as we’ve said throughout, the data simply doesn’t support any of this sensationalist speculation.

“Although there are clear potential headwinds, consumer demand remains stable, and fuelled by the circa four million new and used car transactions ‘lost’ since 2020, as well as a range of other macro-economic factors, we’re confident levels will be sustained. Coupled with ongoing supply challenges, these market dynamics will continue to keep prices strong for the foreseeable future.”