Plan Insurance Blog

Used Car Market Moving at Record Pace

March witnessed a flurry of activity in the used car market, with used cars selling at an unprecedented pace. Vehicles left forecourts in just 25 days on average.

The used car market appears to be revving up as it enters the second quarter of the year. After setting new records, car dealers should be able expect momentum to be maintained, according to insights from Auto Trader.

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Here’s a breakdown of the key highlights:

Market Performance

  • The average price of a used car in March stood at £16,695, down 9% year on year but showing only a marginal 0.7% decrease month on month.
  • Retail prices demonstrated signs of stability, following more typical seasonal patterns, buoyed by favourable market dynamics.

Demand and Engagement

  • Consumer demand (based on volume of searches and advert views on the marketplace) surged by 6% year on year, outstripping supply growth, which increased by a modest 0.7% – the lowest level since July.
  • March witnessed a record-breaking 89.1 million cross-platform visits to Auto Trader, marking an 8% year-on-year increase. Although Auto trader’s increased year on year site traffic volumes may have benefitted from the troubles faced by its leading rival Cazoo and their subsequent reduction in advertising spend.

Speed of Sale

  • Used cars flew off the shelves, taking an average of just 25 days to sell, the fastest pace recorded since tracking began in January 2021.
  • Despite a 1% decline in transactions compared to March 2023, Auto Trader’s retail sales data indicates a 2% year-on-year increase across the quarter.

Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s data & insights director, expressed confidence in the market’s resilience amid economic uncertainties. He emphasised the importance of leveraging insights and intelligence to navigate the nuanced and fast-moving market landscape. With Auto Trader’s data now informing the Office for National Statistics’ calculations for inflation, the platform’s role in shaping the automotive industry’s trajectory continues to expand.

Motor traders morale should be buoyed by these statistics. Despite the ongoing inflationary pressures and the impact of the cost of living crisis demand in the used car market appears resilient.

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