‘Used car prices have seen sustained growth’


Fears over an explosion in private motoring appear to be confirmed as a result of new data released in recent days by online car marketplace Auto Trader.

It will add to the fears of many within the public transport industry who have concerns that the pandemic could decimate patronage.

Auto Trader said traffic on its website and apps was up by 29% in June compared with the same time last year, with 64m visits. The number of leads it sent to sellers was up 90% year on year for the month.

Used car prices continue to remain strong with a 4.4% year-on year increase recorded in the week commencing 6th July, driven by consumer demand outweighing supply on the used market.

While Boris Johnson dropped the ‘avoid public transport’ message in England last week, he added the government was “of course encouraging people to consider alternative means of transport where they are available”.

While official advice has urged people to either walk or cycle to make their journeys, many, especially those outside major urban areas, have little other option than a car for longer journeys.

“It’s not just that [car] prices are up right now; ever since retailers have been able to restart their sales, used car prices have seen sustained growth for more than 10 weeks and it’s clear this growth is accelerating,” commented Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s director of data and insights.

“It’s imperative to consider all market factors when evaluating price. Price is driven by supply and consumer-driven demand, and although supply has been constrained with auction houses being slower to reopen since lockdown, they are returning to over 90% of pre-COVID-19 levels.

“Consumer confidence seems relatively robust too, with 82% saying they are ‘as confident’ or ‘more confident’ in being able to afford their next car than they were a year ago.”

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