Used car values continue downwards trajectory

Average used car retail prices contracted on a year-on-year basis for the second consecutive month in October, dropping 1.7% like-for-like.

According to the Auto Trader Price Index, the current rate of contraction marks the largest drop in YoY prices in over 43 months.

However, the average price of £17,641 recorded last month is still up £3,627 on the same period in 2020, and a massive £4,308 on pre-pandemic 2019.

Meanwhile, used EV prices across all age groups were down 20.5% YoY in October, improving on the 22.1% drop in September and the 22.6% in August, showing the continued recent strengthening of the used EV market context. This is due to very strong growth in consumer demand for second-hand electric cars.

Auto Trader’s director of data and insights, Richard Walker, said: Although October marked the second month of contraction in headline figures, as always context is important. Transactions are stable, consumer demand is robust, engagement is increasing, cars are selling quickly, and there are still segments of the market recording strong price growth. These are reasons to feel positive, and as always, we’d urge dealers to be led by these consumer trends and the broader retail environment to inform stocking and pricing decisions. With 14% of used cars advertised on Auto Trader priced below their market value in October, potential profit is still being left on the table. In such a nuanced market it’s essential to be guided by a vehicle view, not a forecourt view.”