Used car prices still trending upwards

The average price of used cars rose 1.7% year-on-year to £17,880, according to Auto Trader’s Retail Price Index.

Although the rate of growth is down significantly from a peak of 32% in April 2022, this current rate is on top of the massive 31.9% increase recorded this time last year.

It also marks a month-on-month (MoM) increase of 0.7%, which is not only ahead of the 0.3% recorded last month, but also the 0.4% February average between 2011 and 2019.

Auto Trader’s director of data and insights, Richard Walker, said: “Over the last few months we’ve been seeing and hearing reassuring signs of a used car market in very robust health. These metrics, along with wider macro-economic bellwethers, such as January’s softening in inflation rates and the increasing optimism for household finances, adds to our confident outlook for the year ahead.”

However, average used car prices are being impacted by the ongoing contraction in used electric vehicle (EV) values (£34,197), which as of mid-February, are down 9.1% on the same period last year. In contrast, the average price of a used petrol (£16,266) and diesel (£16,326) car is up 3.3% and 1.4% respectively.

Walker said: Consumer demand has been dampened slightly by high energy prices in the last few months, but contrary to what some reports may suggest, consumer appetite for electric has far from fallen off a cliff. Availability and affordability have been major drivers in the success of some brands in the new EV market, so this increase in stock and the slight reduction in prices may well encourage more used car buyers to make the switch to electric.”