Press release

SMMT used car transactions | Q2 2019

Auto Trader's Commercial Director, Ian Plummer, provides his view on the latest used car transactions from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

Ian Plummer, Commercial Director:

“Whether it’s the Conservative leadership race, the new prime minister, or the increased likelihood of a no-deal Brexit, consumers have faced significant turbulence over the last few months. It should come as no surprise therefore, that despite its resilience, the same consumer uncertainty that is so profoundly affecting new car sales should impact the used car market too.

“We can see further evidence of this reflected on the average second-hand retail prices. According to the latest findings from the Auto Trader Retail Price Index, which analyses over half a million industry data points, the rate of growth in used prices has stalled: for the first time in three years, the rate of price growth is in actual decline, slowing to just -0.7% in July. 

“However, despite a disappointing picture, the huge growth in alternatively fuelled vehicles offers a real bright spot. Whilst off a small base, the growing appetite for low emission cars is helping to offset the fall in petrol and diesel registrations. It’s having a similar impact in terms of used prices too, with the average price tag of a pure EV surging 9.5% last month.

“If further evidence was needed of the opportunity AFVs represent for the industry, the 2015 Renault Zoe is currently the UK’s fastest selling used car, taking an average of just 23 days, closely followed by the 2018 Kia Niro hybrid at 24 days. It clearly highlights the desperate need for a clearer and more compelling narrative from the government to encourage consumers to make a switch from fossil to electric.” 

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