Used car prices rise for 24th straight month

The average price of a used car increased 32% on a year-on-year (YoY) and like-for-like basis in March, marking the 24th month of consecutive price growth.

According to Auto Trader, the average value of used cars increased nearly £4,400 in this period, with one in five ‘nearly new’ cars selling for more than their new equivalents.

However, while prices are continuing to increase, the rate of growth is beginning to ease with March’s 0.1% rise on the 31.9% recorded in February representing the lowest monthly movement since November 2020.

Further highlighting the current resilience of the used car market, the latest on-site research conducted by Auto Trader suggests consumer confidence remains robust. Around 40% of the circa 1,600 people surveyed in March intend to buy in the next two weeks, and 67% want to buy in the next three months.

Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s director of data and insights, said: Although used car price growth and consumer demand is softening, it’s important to put it into context. Against a backdrop of ‘once in a lifetime’ levels of demand in 2021, it’s easy to misinterpret the data as a market in decline, but a quick look under the bonnet reveals that any suggestion prices are about to tumble is unfounded. Despite growing economic pressures, the appetite for new and used cars remains above pre-pandemic levels, which combined with the ongoing squeeze in supply, will keep used car prices strong for the foreseeable future.”