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Car buyers prepared to pay 32% more than they were two years ago

Car buyers are prepared to pay 32% more for a car than they were two years ago, a sign of rising consumer confidence.

Auto Trader analysts looked at cars that were three years old with between 20,000 and 30,000 miles on the clock.

They then looked at individual ad views in April, rather than just visitors browsing the Auto Trader site, to hone in more precisely on those with an intention to buy. On average they found that potential buyers were looking at cars with a 32% higher asking price than they were back in April 2013.

Year Average asking price
April 2015 £21,844
April 2014 £19,045
April 2013 £16,586

 

 

 

 

“Our analysis implies that buyers are willing to pay significantly more for good quality cars than they were two years ago,” said Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s trade solutions director.

“That might seem surprising, considering noise in the marketplace around volumes of pre-registered vehicles.

“However, prices haven’t softened, consumer confidence continues to improve and demand is outstripping supply.”

Using ad views rather than site searches was important for the analysis, she said.

“More than half of buyers now arrive on a forecourt without any prior contact with a dealer so the ad view is now one of the best means of focusing on potential leads or those with an intention to buy.

“In the new era of the digital buyer, it is like a virtual walk around the car, something buyers used to do on the forecourt itself.”

To run the analysis, Auto Trader looked at data from cars of three years of age with between 20,000 and 30,000 miles on the clock. They then focussed on the top 25% of these models by percentage, reflecting total ad views in April.

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