Scent-sation: You can smell like a new car for £175

Auto Trader Au de New Car fragrance

Online car sales platform Auto Trader has launched a new car fragrance. But it’s not for your car – it’s for you.

The inspiration comes after Auto Trader’s research found that the scent of a new car was most-associated with success, with 25 percent of respondents claiming as much. It also found that an association with success commanded respect in the workplace. Success is also reported to increase someone’s attractiveness.

Auto Trader Au de New Car fragrance

Success equals attractiveness and respect, and the smell of new cars implies success. Which brings us to the new Auto Trader scent: Eau de New Car. It’s designed to give you the smell of a new car and, by extension, success.

The so-called ‘purifying fragrance’ will set you back £175 for a 50ml bottle, and yes, you can buy it now on Auto Trader. The scent blends smells of quality leathers and leather wax, with quality automotive carpeting, that you’d get when climbing into a new car.

“When our research found that the scent of a new car is the one which people are most likely to associate with success, we couldn’t resist creating a bespoke fragrance which brings this to life,” said Auto Trader’s Rory Reid.

Auto Trader Au de New Car fragrance

“Let’s face it – the feeling you get when getting into a brand-new car is unforgettable. There’s little wonder that this is the scent we most associate with success. Why shouldn’t we be able to smell that scent and feel that way all the time?

“Eau de New Car is a scent like no other. It is your own personal spritz of success, to provide an instant, refreshing lift.”

The former Top Gear presenter has channelled his inner Jonny Depp, sans Dodge Challenger, modelling the fragrance for the video advertisement. The limited-edition fragrance is available while stocks last. We expect Auto Trader’s entry into the world of fragrances is more a dalliance than a lasting presence.

Is this a vision of the car we’ll be ‘driving’ in 2050?

Auto Trader 2050 car

To many, 2020 still feels like the future. There aren’t (many) flying cars and our food doesn’t come in pill form. But what will cars look like 30 years from now?

Auto Trader has had a crack at what we’ll be driving in 2050. The car is based on the combination of input from an expert futurologist, market trends, how technology is changing and consumer research. 

In terms of design, it’s nothing out of the ordinary. While the silhouette is that of some recent difficult-to-swallow autonomous pod concepts, the actual styling language is very agreeable. Its big wheels, sharp lines and shapely lighting look like the sort of thing you’d see on a next-generation Range Rover.

So if the styling is realistic and contemporary, what about Auto Trader’s vision for the car of 2050? Don’t worry, there’s plenty to discuss.

First, the digital paint. Auto Trader thinks we’ll be able to pick a new colour on the fly, via an app. We could see this technology as soon as 2040. Other than that, it’s not unlike some other visions of the future we’ve seen.

It’s designed to be a ‘home away from home’, with 360-degree panoramic views via an enormous glasshouse. The bubble roof also allows free movement around the cabin. As it will obviously be autonomous, this car becomes another space for work, rest and play.

When consumers were asked what they’d do with their reclaimed time, 24 percent said they’d catch up on sleep. As such, Auto Trader’s 2050 car can have a mattress. Twenty-two percent said they’d get stuck into a book, while 19 percent said they’d watch Netflix. For the latter, the car can be equipped with a large flat-screen TV.

Sixteen percent said they’d challenge their fellow passengers to board games, while 15 percent said the car would be a place for doing their makeup. Four percent even said they’d get into some yoga on the road.

Auto Trader 2050 car

The autonomous car of the future comes with an interactive artificial intelligence. This caters to the 10 percent of drivers who want to control the car via voice commands. It perhaps goes without saying at this point, that this car would be electric. 

“Tomorrow’s car takes you from A to B with minimum fuss and in maximum style,” said futurologist Tom Cheesewright.

“Future technologies will give designers free reign to create more space and comfort, so that we can get on with our lives while an AI takes care of the driving. While our cars won’t be flying any time soon, we can all benefit from cleaner, quieter, safer roads. In just twenty years, the age of the combustion engine will be well and truly over.”

Auto Trader saw ‘all-time record‘ car buying interest in January

Auto Trader record consumer interest

Auto Trader posted an ‘all-time record’ for site visits in January. A total of 58 million is up five percent on the previous record, set in March 2019.

The numbers are big, with 259 million full-page advert views of new and used vehicles clocked in the first month of the year. More views suggests more shoppers and more sales. This follows Auto Trader’s claim that retailers saw increased footfall last month, which rebuts worries of a contracting car market in the UK.

Auto Trader record consumer interest

There were no losers in terms of demand for fuel types, either. Year-on year figures for diesel and petrol were up four percent and seven percent respectively. Alternatively-fuelled vehicles and EVs are gathering serious pace, however, with popularity up 72 percent and 110 percent respectively. Indeed, the all-electric Renault Zoe remains Auto Trader’s fastest-selling used car.

Auto Trader claims that used car prices are more resilient than they have been previously, given that the speed prices are decreasing is slowing. The average price for a used car in January 2020 was £13,557, compared with £12,960 last year. 

Consumer confidence is up, too, according to Auto Trader research. Fifty-nine percent said they felt more confident in January about being able to afford their next car than they did a year ago. 

Early 2020: Car sales opportunity

Strange questions to car dealers

The theory is that a number of factors are coming into play when it comes to increasing new and used car speculation among buyers. Firstly, a so-called ‘light at the end of the Brexit tunnel’. An end to stagnation has buoyed buyer confidence, says Auto Trader.

Secondly, the vehicle tax changes coming in April. Significant cost increases are expected, so Auto Trader expects a bubble of new car buying, with motorists wanting to get in while tax is cheaper.

Auto Trader record consumer interest

Following the general election in December and now that the light is starting to shine through the Brexit tunnel, it seems that the market is stabilising and hopefully will continue across Q1 and beyond,” said Ian Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader.

“With increased consumer confidence too, retailers have a great opportunity to convert sales this quarter, particularly when audiences are so high on our marketplace. 

“Now’s a particularly good time for retailers; demand for electric vehicles skyrocketed after the government’s announcement to ban diesel and petrol cars in 2035, and retailers can use this time to capitalise on the car tax changes which come into effect on 6 April. Consumers could be left paying significantly more for tax on new cars – as much as £960 more for some models – so they’ll have the impetus to buy new cars this quarter.”

Electric car searches up 78 percent on Auto Trader

Fastest-selling used car is electric

Auto Trader has revealed the cars that are selling the quickest on its platform. Retaining its impressive top spot is the Renault Zoe electric car. At present, the 2016 variant is selling in just 25 days.

Even more interesting is the fact that Auto Trader says searches for electric cars on the platform have increased by 78 percent over the last 12 months.

“With more and more new generation models set to reach showrooms this year, coupled with fast improving infrastructure, its looking increasingly likely that 2020 will indeed be the year of electric,” said Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s director of commercial products.

January represents a slight drop-off for the Zoe overall. While the 2016 model leads in January, no others are in the top ten. By comparison, in December, three Zoe variants made the list. 

It’s got a good lead on its listmates, too. The 2016 Zoe sells a full three days quicker than the second-placed Mazda CX-5 diesel.

Electric cars demand and value 2019

By comparison, the ten slowest-selling vehicles take an average 145 days to sell.

Overall, 2016 cars are popular, says Auto Trader, because of the quality of nearly-new cars. A 2016 car can offer “almost the same quality as their brand-new counterparts but at a much lower price tag. They’re also not in short supply, as cars coming off three-year finance cycles ‘flood‘ the market”.

Rank Make / model Fuel & transmission Auto Trader Retail Rating Predicted days to sell
1 2016 Renault Zoe Electric – Automatic 99.71 25
2 2016 Mazda CX-5 Diesel – Manual 99.34 28
3 2016 Toyota Aygo Petrol – Automatic 99.03 29
4 2016 Ford Ka Petrol – Manual 98.96 29
5 2016 Volkswagen Up Petrol – Automatic 98.30 29
6 2018 Audi A1 Petrol – Automatic 98.14 29
7 2016 Dacia Logan MCV Diesel – Manual 98.02 29
8 2016 Mazda CX-5 Diesel – Automatic 98.95 30
9 2016 Dacia Sandero Stepway Diesel – Manual 99.46 32
10 2016 Dacia Duster Diesel – Manual 99.27 34

“Despite a slight increase of traditional fuelled vehicles on the top 10, it’s impossible to ignore the huge shift in consumer perception towards low emission cars,” Edwards-Smajda followed.

“Whilst we’re a long way from mass adoption, every metric on our marketplace indicates an ever-growing appetite for electric.”

Revealed: the cars you viewed online in 2019

Auto Trader views 2019

If you’re anything like us, you’ll spend too much time window shopping new and used cars online. But have you ever stopped to wonder if some cars are far more popular than others?

Wonder no more, because Auto Trader has revealed the most popular new and used cars of 2019, with the results based on the number of advert views. We’ve listed the results in reverse order, starting with the most popular new cars of 2019.

10th most viewed new car – Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Auto Trader views 2019

Commenting on the results, Auto Trader’s commercial director, Ian Plummer, said: “Volume brands continue to be more successful in terms of physical sales, particularly within the used market, however when it comes to the most popular on our marketplace, the premium German brands dominate.” The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was the 10th most popular new car of 2019.

9th most viewed new car – Volkswagen Polo

Auto Trader views 2019

“As finance accounts for over 90 percent of all new car sales and circa 30 percent of used, these more expensive models are becoming increasingly more accessible to a broader range of car buyers. As such, it’ll be interesting to see how the volume brands will be able to maintain their lead.” The Volkswagen Polo is a popular supermini, so it’s no surprise to find it in ninth place.

8th most viewed new car – Range Rover Evoque

Auto Trader views 2019

We’re constantly being reminded about the popularity of SUVs, but they account for only 30 percent of the new car top 10. Amazingly, all three are from the Land Rover stable, including the Range Rover Evoque. A new and improved version arrived last year. Richard Aucock’s verdict: “Like the original. Only better. Just as the customer ordered. Let’s watch the orders flood in.”

7th most viewed new car – Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Auto Trader views 2019

The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a vast improvement over the old model, which probably explains why so many people searched for one in 2019. Richard Aucock is a fan. After his first drive in 2018, he praised its styling, class-leading interior and brilliant infotainment system.

6th most viewed new car – BMW 3 Series

Auto Trader views 2019

Like the A-Class, online views of the BMW 3 Series would have been boosted by the arrival of the new model. Prices start from £32,500 for the saloon and £34,000 for the estate (Touring). It’s that man Richard Aucock again, this time with his verdict on the new 3 Series Touring. “BMW has successfully transferred its 3 Series saloon market leadership into the estate car sector.”

5th most viewed new car – Range Rover Sport

Auto Trader views 2019

It’s a while since Richard has driven a Range Rover Sport – it was back in 2015, to be precise – so we won’t garnish this gallery with his words. But it’s clear that the public remains in love with the Sport. Either that or there’s a high concentration of Auto Trader viewers in Cheshire. What else does a Premier League footballer do on his day off?

4th most viewed new car – Range Rover

Auto Trader views 2019

Given the popularity of EVs, the Range Rover is starting to look like a square peg in a round hole. Indeed, Auto Trader witnessed a 78 percent surge in the number of views for electric car adverts in 2019. It’ll be a while before an electric car nudges the Range Rover off its perch, but give it time…

3rd most viewed new car – Ford Fiesta

Auto Trader views 2019

Spoiler alert: there are no surprises at the top of the table. The cars occupying the top three positions are predictable – it’s just a matter of placing them in order. The Ford Fiesta finishes third, but remains the UK’s most popular new car in terms of registrations.

2nd most viewed new car – Ford Focus

Auto Trader views 2019

The Ford Focus grabs second spot, which leaves us with one car…

The most viewed new car – Volkswagen Golf

Auto Trader views 2019

It’s the Volkswagen Golf. We’d expect to find it here again in 2020, not least because of the arrival of the new eighth-generation model (pictured). Richard Aucock hasn’t driven it, but Tim Pitt has. He likes it. In conclusion, he said: “Much has changed, but the Golf still feels like the benchmark in its class.”

10th most viewed used car – Vauxhall Corsa

Auto Trader views 2019

Next, we move on to the most popular used cars. Historically, we’ve associated Auto Trader with pre-owned cars – a link back to the days of the weekly magazine. The Vauxhall Corsa is propping up the top 10. Did you know that the classifieds section of the Auto Trader website saw two and a half billion views in 2019? We’re responsible for at least half a billion…

9th most viewed used car – BMW 5 Series

Auto Trader views 2019

The 5 Series is one of three BMWs in the top 10 used cars. In terms of the overall most popular brands, the premium German brands romped home to victory. Indeed, BMW finished first on the used car list, followed by Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

8th most viewed used car – Audi A3

Auto Trader views 2019

Speaking of Audi, here’s the A3. In Europe, the Audi A3 jostles for position with the Mercedes-Benz A-Class as the most popular premium hatchback. Interestingly, in a not very interesting kind of way, the A-Class doesn’t make the used car top 10…

7th most viewed used car – Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Auto Trader views 2019

But the E-Class does. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class offers something for all – assuming you have deep pockets. Whether you’re after a saloon, estate, cabriolet or coupe, the E-Class has you covered, while the All-Terrain and AMG models are on hand to cater for the niche sectors.

6th most viewed used car – Ford Fiesta

Auto Trader views 2019

The Ford Fiesta can only manage sixth place on the used car list.

5th most viewed used car – Ford Focus

Auto Trader views 2019

The Fiesta is followed by the Ford Focus, which leaves the rest of the top 10 to be occupied by the Germans.

4th most viewed used car – BMW 1 Series

Auto Trader views 2019

With the arrival of a new BMW 1 Series, it should be easier to bag a great deal on an old one. Look out for nearly-new examples in the used car network, as dealers will be keen to shift examples of the outgoing model.

3rd most viewed used car – Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Auto Trader views 2019

We appreciate that this isn’t as exciting as watching The Masked Singer on ITV, but we’re into the top three. In third place we find Justin Hawkins. No, wait, in third place we find the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

2nd most viewed used car – Volkswagen Golf

Auto Trader views 2019

It finished top of the new car table, but the Volkswagen Golf must accept second place when it comes to used cars. But which car finishes first?

The most viewed used car – BMW 3 Series

Auto Trader views 2019

It’s… the BMW 3 Series. Come back next year, by which time we’ll know if The Masked Singer gets a second series.

Auto Trader to give away new Fiat 500 for Christmas

Auto Trader car giveaway

Car classifieds website Auto Trader will be giving away a brand new Fiat 500 to a lucky social media user this Christmas. Here’s how you can win.

First of all, you’ll have to be in either London (17 Dec), Birmingham (18 Dec) or Manchester (19 Dec). The car will be touring these locations over the course of these dates.

To win, you need to post a picture of it. And to do that, well, you need to see it.

Auto Trader car giveaway

It’s not just a post they want, either. You need to upload the pic with the live price tracker shown. The post needs to tag @autotraderuk and there needs to be an #autotraderxmas hashtag, too.

It needs to be live on either Twitter or Instagram by Friday 20 December.

Wait, though, there’s more! The price tracker has to be displaying the correctly pre-haggled price of the car in the snap. If it does, you’ll be entered into a draw to win.

The Fiat 500 is a frequently searched vehicle on Auto Trader. It gets more than 24,000 advertisement views a day on the platform.

Auto Trader car giveaway

“At this time of year, a lot of people are starting to think of their next new car, particularly ahead of March’s number plate changes,” an Auto Trader spokesperson said.

“They’re doing their research on different makes and models, so we wanted to show what deals they can get with our pre-haggled prices on brand new cars.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be touring our festively-wrapped car around London, Birmingham and Manchester and really looking forward to gifting a member of the British public with an early Christmas present.”

Auto Trader introduces ‘fair’ and ‘high’ price flags on ads

Auto Trader user upgrade

Auto Trader is upgrading the way its listings look. The car sales website is adding new features to help buyers feel more confident as they search the classifieds for their next car.

The changes will roll out across all platforms from early December.

In Auto Trader’s 2019 Car Buyers Report, it was revealed that 86 percent of buyers are concerned they can’t trust car dealers. Likewise, 88 percent worry they aren’t getting a good deal, while 85 percent are question the accuracy of the information about a car.

These are three key changes Auto Trader will make.

Consumer reviews

Reviews from customers of car retailers are being brought forward, to reinforce buyers’ trust in vendors.

Auto Trader wants to put its consumer reviews to better use, to corroborate other rewards and recommendations car sellers may have.

Price flags

Auto Trader upgrades

Auto Trader will be adding to its ‘low’, ‘great’ and ‘good’ price indicators, with ‘fair’ and ‘high’. It’s believed that buyers’ hesitance around pricing is a key barrier to doing the deal. With more comprehensive ‘flags’, Auto Trader hopes to put buyers at ease, and help them be sure they’re paying what they should.

The company claims that its valuations are ‘the most accurate reflection of the live retail market’. They include analysis of more than 1.9 million vehicles each day. Valuations are afforded depending on age, mileage and specification.

Mileage and spec indicators

Auto Trader user upgrade

To help buyers find the specific cars, extra feature indicators are also being added. This means mileage and deal-critical optional extras can be highlighted in a listing.

Content relating to the car, including the description and spec, is being moved up the page, in order to help buyers find what is being offered more efficiently.

Why it should be easier to find your next car on Auto Trader

Why it should be easier to find your next car

New and used car buyers should now discover it’s easier to find their next car on Auto Trader.

That’s because the online marketplace has tweaked its search rankings to prioritise results based on consumer relevance as well as price.

One in three consumers would have bought their car sooner if the process was easier for them, says Auto Trader. So the upgraded search algorithm should be good news for the consumer and the seller.

Auto Trader faces new competition, with the Volkswagen- and Daimler-backed Heycar online marketplace now available to consumers in the UK.

But while Heycar is a 100 percent business to consumer marketplace, Auto Trader features private sellers, and at the time of writing it has around 480,000 new and used cars for sale.

Cars for sale in showroom

Karolina Edwards-Smajda, director of commercial products, said: “All of our research shows that retailers that price to market from day one enjoy a faster speed of sale, which means they’re selling more cars, more quickly, and for more profit.

“We’re committed to making the car buying experience easier for consumers, and in the process providing our customers with the very best marketplace to sell their cars.

“By showing relevant results and useful information upfront to car buyers, we’re delivering retailers with more meaningful connections earlier in the process, and fewer questions from less informed consumers.”

Advice for car dealers

Happy car dealer

Auto Trader says there “isn’t a simplistic check-list” for dealers to appear higher up the search rankings, but advises retailers to follow “best digital practice”.

Including plenty of images and a video to highlight the true condition of the vehicle helps, as does adding lots of detail on the condition and specification of the car.

Using customer reviews to instil confidence and trust in their business is another quick win for dealers.

Hybrid and EVs surge ahead for second-hand sales

alternative fuel vehicles lead steadily growing pre-owned market

In spite of the doom and gloom surrounding car sales, the second-hand market remains resilient, says Auto Trader.

Used car prices are continuing to grow in the UK, although the rate of growth has slowed. An average of 0.8 percent growth is the slowest since 2016. It’s comprised mainly of (slowest-growing) diesel at 0.4 percent and petrol at one percent growth.

Alternative-fuel cars come top with 4.8 percent growth, a sub-sector that includes hybrids and electric cars (the latter up 11.8 percent). 

Looking for alternatives

alternative fuel vehicles lead steadily growing pre-owned market

Alternative-fuel vehicles made up eight percent of all fuel-related searches on Auto Trader this month, in spite of being just one percent of pre-owned stock.

Petrol is down to 51 percent of searches, and diesel is down at 41 percent.

“There has been much rhetoric around the strength of the used car market in recent weeks, namely that prices have plummeted however, Auto Trader data tells a different story,” said Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s director of commercial products.

“Prices are still growing, it’s just that the rate of growth is slower than we’re accustomed to and that we’ve seen in recent months.

alternative fuel vehicles lead steadily growing second-hand market

“There is a clear trend every year following September and March plate change, resulting in an increase in three-year-old, 60k vehicles. The pre-owned car market has an influx of stock, often as a result of consumers trading in their car for a new one.

“Following the March plate change, the volume of three-year-old cars reaches its peak between March and June. This saturates the market and prices become more competitive – which is what we observed happening in May. This is part of the annual cycle, and it’s a trend we see every year.”

Petrol reaches record popularity in Auto Trader searches

filling up with petrol auto trader

Petrol now accounts for 50 percent of all searches on Auto Trader’s marketplace, according to the latest analysis of figures by the car sales website. That’s up from just 33 percent two years ago. Diesel now accounts for just 42 percent of searches on Auto Trader, compared with this time two years ago when it accounted for 64 percent of searches.

London is where diesel has taken the biggest hit, in the run-up to the Ultra Low Emission Zone coming into effect in April 2019. As many as 63 percent of searches on Auto Trader from the London locale were diesel in February 2017. Last month, diesel came into just 26 percent of searches on Auto Trader. That’s an incredible drop of 37 percent over two years.

Overall, fuel-related searches have increased from 32 percent to 61 percent over the past couple of years. Alternative fuel vehicles (hybrids, electric cars and more) have gone up in popularity in searches on Auto Trader, from four percent to 12 percent in this period.

Diesels hold value, in spite of reduced demand

Auto Trader searches

Regardless of what seems to be reduced demand, diesel cars are holding their value sufficiently. The average price of a secondhand diesel actually increased 2.4 percent year-on-year, to £14,309. That might not be a function of the value of diesel, however, rather that second-hand cars are getting younger and more valuable…

Indeed, petrol-powered cars increased in value year-on-year by 2.8 percent, to £11,249.  Meanwhile, alternative-fuel vehicles have had a massive secondhand value increase year-on-year of 4.4 percent, to £21,809. Overall, secondhand cars on Auto Trader are 2.7 percent more valuable now than in February 2018.

Auto Trader searches

“The latest used market results along with our own price data highlights the stoicism of second-hand diesels,” said Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s commercial product director.

“However, whilst fuel only represents one in five of the 55 searches that take place on our marketplace every second, the ongoing decline in diesel searches clearly highlights the impact a combination of sustained ‘demonisation’ and new legislation is having on consumer perception.”