Used car prices return to growth

The used car market began the second quarter of the year on an upwards trajectory with demand, sales and prices all recording growth.

According to the latest data from Auto Trader, the market recorded its first month-on-month increase in a year, up 1.1% on a like-for-like basis.

However, this is still behind the average pre-pandemic uptick in April of 2.2%.

Meanwhile, retail prices are 9.3% down on the same period last year although consumer demand registered on the Auto Trader website is nine per cent up on 2023’s volumes with about 83.7 million visits during the month and transactions up 6.3%.

In terms of fuel types, average petrol and diesel prices were up 1.3% while used electric vehicle prices dipped 0.4%.

Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s data and insights director, said: “Disappointingly, prices remain down year-on-year, but the month-on-month growth and return to seasonal norms is another positive sign of the retail market stabilising.”

Sue Robinson, chief executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association, added: “It’s encouraging to see that the robust start of the used car market in 2024 has continued as we enter quarter two. There are also signs that the market is returning to pre-pandemic levels. Despite this, it’s notable that whilst younger EVs are outperforming the market, used electric vehicles were the only fuel type not to record price growth demonstrating that the used electric market is still maturing.”