Used car values jump £3,000 in just five months

Second-hand prices grow for 19th consecutive month as sellers report record-breaking demand

Monday, 8th November 2021, 2:44 pm

The average price of a used car has jumped by almost £3,000 in the past five months, according to the latest figures from the UK’s biggest online marketplace.

Auto Trader’s latest monthly report shows that second-hand values have risen for the 19th consecutive month as “unique market dynamics” continue to drive unprecedented demand.

According to analysis of almost 1 million used vehicles on its site, the average price of a second-hand car has risen from £13,973 in May to £16,878 in October. That represents a 25% price increase over last October.

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However, some models have seen values grow by almost 70% as buyers struggle to find the car they want.

Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s director of data and insights said that ongoing problems in the new car market would see the growth of used values continue well into 2022.

Auto Trader’s October data shows that almost one in four “nearly new” cars - up to 12 months old - is now selling for more than the list price of an equivalent brand new model, continuing a trend caused by supply issues in the new car trade.

Demand for used cars has soared since the start of the pandemic, partly due to these supply issues and partly, it is thought, because more people are choosing private vehicles over public transport.

Auto Trader has seen a 30% increase in visitors to its platform since October 2019 and cars have been selling faster despite the rising prices.

Richard Walker, commented: “What we’re currently seeing in the market is the result of basic economics - exceptionally strong consumer demand and a constrained supply chain which simply cannot catch up.

“Looking ahead, demand will continue to be fuelled by healthy levels of consumer confidence, a positive shift towards car ownership, and the 1.5 million ‘lost’ car sales in 2020. Add to the fact it’s unlikely we’ll see a strong return on supply levels due to the fall in new car sales volumes over recent years and the lower levels of pre-registration, we can expect strong year-on-year price growth to continue well into next year.”

Among the brands enjoying the strongest growth in used values are Land Rover, Jaguar, Seat and Skoda.

Demand for the new Defender 90 has seen its used values soar nearly 70% in the year since it went on sale, while prices for the long-wheelbase 110 version are up 39%. The Jaguar XK sports car has enjoyed a 45% spike in values compared with a year ago, the Seat Alhambra is up 42% and two Skoda models - the Yeti and Octavia - have risen 38% and 37% respectively.

According to the Auto Trader data, demand for electric vehicles grew far more than for combustion engined cars, up nearly 115% compared with 7.2% for petrol and 1.7% for diesel.