Used car prices remain strong despite signs that growth is slowing

The average price of a used car grew 28.5 per cent last week year-on-year, marking the 98th consecutive week of price growth.

However, online car marketplace Auto Trader, which compiled the figures, says the incredible acceleration of prices that has been seen previously is showing signs of slowing.

The slight easing of price growth is said to be partly because prices are now overlapping with previous highs, coinciding with easing consumer demand. This latter point could be affected by numerous reasons, such as the half term break seeing people focus on holidays rather than a new car, while the war in Ukraine is also proving distracting, Auto Trader suggests.

Big Motoring World Car Dealership
(Blackball Media)

Despite this, there are also hints that this could be a minor blip in the continued growth. For example, it took an average of just 25 days for stock to leave forecourts, which is 10 days quicker than this time last year and also the lowest weekly average in five months.

Auto Trader’s data and insights director, Richard Walker, said: “Given the headlines over recent weeks, a slight softening in what has been a long period of exceptionally strong consumer demand is to be expected.

“However, it is not an indication of a market in reverse and anyone anticipating a sudden drop in prices will be disappointed.

“Increasing used car prices does have the potential to place added pressure on motorists who are already beginning to feel the effect of rising inflation, and the growing pinch at the fuel pumps.”

The Subaru Impreza saw the largest year-on-year growth of over 63 per cent to £12,432, followed by the Seat Alhambra (59 per cent to £19,055) and Ford S-Max (54 per cent to £15,356).

Just five models saw prices go down last week compared with 2021. These were the BMW 8 Series, Audi S5, Mazda MX-30, Volvo V90 and Lexus UX300e.