The new car market may still be in the doldrums, but the used car sector is booming, according to the latest figures released by Auto Trader. At an average car price of £12,769, used values in April 2018 were some 7 percent higher when compared to the same period last year.
Such a substantial increase is equivalent to a £1,275 year-on-year average uplift across the market. This marks the highest figure recorded since Auto Trader began its Retail Price Index in January 2011.
Based upon data taken from almost 500,000 used cars listed on Auto Trader, along with information from 3,000 car retailer websites, the Retail Price Index reflects the actual prices of cars in the marketplace.
Diesel still popular, but for how long?
Current anti-diesel rhetoric, and mixed government messages, are making consumers cautious about buying a new diesel-powered car. But the used market for them is still relatively buoyant. Average values of used diesel cars rose by £102 against the previous month, and were 5 oercent higher when compared to April 2017. Average selling prices for diesel cars stood at £14,555.
Future worries may be creeping into the minds of used buyers, though. Auto Trader reported a drop in the proportion of searches for diesel cars to just 50 percent. For comparison, back in November 2016, some 71 percent of searches by fuel type specified diesel as the fuel of choice.
Proving that diesel may be under threat even further was news that prices for used petrol cars rose by 10 percent during April 2018. Although the average price of £10,790 is below that of diesel cars, the speed with which petrol car values are increasing points strongly to the mindset of used buyers and sellers.
Values for used electric and hybrid-powered cars bucked the overall trend, recording a fall during April 2018. It seems the used car market may be stuck in limbo between abandoning diesel, and making the leap to alternatively fuelled vehicles. Buyers and sellers are left with petrol cars as the safest choice, driving up values accordingly.