Insight May 2021: Rising UK Used Car Prices

by | May 18, 2021 | UK Car Valuations

The latest results from the Auto Trader Retail Price Index show that the average price of a UK used car in April 2021 was £14,124; a year-on-year increase of 7.1%. The increase comes after thirteen successive months of rising prices.

Auto Trader’s Retail Price Index is based on daily pricing analysis of circa 900,000 vehicles. The trend of rising prices is fuelled by surging market demand in the market, which increased 36% in April 2019, boosted by the long-awaited reopening of physical car showrooms.

Traffic on the Auto Trader marketplace recorded a similar lift, reaching a total of 69.3 million cross-platform visits: a 36% year-on-year increase. April also saw a rise in online dwell times, with consumers spending a whopping 16.5 million minutes on the site every day. This increased activity resulted in a 74% growth in leads sent to retailers. As well as highlighting strong underlying demand for used cars, the growing volume of enquiries reflects the change in buyer behaviour to make contact before visiting a forecourt.

Underlining dealer confidence in the market, as well as the influence of supply and demand dynamics, there’s been a significant acceleration in the number of retailers making positive price adjustments to their stock.

Of the 2,316 car dealers who adjusted their prices last month, more than one in five made an overall price increase across all stock on their forecourts. This is up significantly on the 16% who made increases in March and the 15% in February. The trend has accelerated even further into May, with now more than one in four (27%) of the retailers adjusting prices upwards.