Press release

Auto Trader Retail Price Index | September 2019

Average price of used cars buoyed by alternatively fuelled vehicles

  • The average used car price was £13,096 in September
  • Year-on-year like-for-like prices have declined by 2.3%
  • Year-on-year like-for-like prices of petrol vehicles dropped by 3.3%

According to the Auto Trader Retail Price Index the average price of a used car advertised by retailers increased modestly in September to an average of £13,096, from £13,001 in August.

Stripping out the impact of mix and changes in the types of vehicle entering or leaving the market, like-for-like advertised prices contracted -2.3% year-on-year. This, in part, is a result of the market corrections made to trade valuations over the summer months which are now flowing through to the consumer market.

Like-for-like prices for diesel and petrol vehicles dropped by -0.9% and -3.3% respectively, whereas alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) continued on their upward trajectory at 5.5% year-on-year growth. Petrol vehicles have an average advertised price of £11,687, diesel vehicles £14,274 and AFVs are almost double the value of their ICE counterparts at £21,643.

Despite the drop in like-for-like advertised prices, there are pockets of growth in the form of SUVs and AFVs, with electric vehicles (EVs) specifically driving the majority of growth. Since October last year there’s been a 59% increase in searches specifically for EVs on our marketplace. SUVs have increased in popularity too; share of search for the body type in September was 18% compared with 16% over the same period last year.

Karolina Edwards-Smadja, Director of Commercial Products at Auto Trader, explains, “While like-for-like advertised used car prices appear to have declined, the overall average remains stable because there’s a greater variation of stock in the market. EVs and SUVs – which are more expensive cars – are more popular and as increasing numbers enter the used car market, this increases the mix of market stock which impacts average prices.

“Stock mix isn’t the only variable impacting prices of course. September brought with it new car plate changes and so to prepare for more part-exchanges coming onto the their forecourts, retailers focussed on clearing existing stock which meant good deals for consumers.”

Search volumes

The percentage of searches by fuel type changed again in September. Petrol cars are still the most popular, accounting for 49% of all fuel searches which is down from 50% last month. Diesel cars have increased to 43% (up from 42% last month) while 7% of searches by fuel type are for AFVs.

About the Auto Trader Retail Price Index

The Auto Trader Retail Price Index combines and analyses data from c. 500,000 trade used car listings every day, as well as additional dealer forecourt and website data (manufacturer, fleet and leasing disposal prices, in addition to pricing data from over 3,000 car dealership websites), ensuring the Index is the most accurate reflection of the live retail market.

About Auto Trader

Auto Trader Group plc is the UK and Ireland's largest digital automotive marketplace. Auto Trader sits at the heart of the UK's vehicle buying process and its primary activity is to help vehicle retailers compete effectively on the marketplace in order to sell more vehicles, faster. Auto Trader listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2015 and is now a member of the FTSE 100 Index.

The marketplace brings together the largest and most engaged consumer audience. Auto Trader has over 90% prompted brand awareness and attracts circa 50 million monthly cross platform visits each month, with over 70% of visits coming through mobile devices.

The marketplace also has the largest pool of vehicle sellers (listing around 450,000 cars each day). Around 80% of UK automotive retailers advertise on autotrader.co.uk.

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