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Auto Trader used car prices decline 1% amid rising AFV interest

Renault Zoe 2017

The average price of a used car offered for sale on Auto Trader declined by 1% during August as interest in electric and hybrid cars grew, the online retail platform has revealed.

Average used vehicle values declined slightly to £12,743 during the period but remained 6% up on the same period in 2017, the Auto Trader Retail Price Index revealed.

But despite what Auto Trader described as “a slight slowdown in the rate of retail price growth”, a shift in interest in alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) was in evidence among online searches.

AFVs accounted for a record 5% of all fuel related searches on Auto Trader during August. It is the first time AFV-related searches have moved since July 2017, having remained flat at 4%.

At 48% of fuel related searches, diesel remains the most popular fuel-type on Auto Trader, however it recorded a 1% decline on the previous month (49%).

Interest in diesel remains a far cry from its peak on Auto Trader in 2016, when it accounted for 71% of all fuel-related searches.

Petrol remained flat at 46% of searches during August.

Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s director of commercial products, said: “The increase in popularity on our marketplace marks what has been a positive few months for AFVs, suggesting we are nearing a very significant turning point.

“Last month one in 12 new vehicles registered in the UK were electric, and in Q2, sales of second-hand zero emission cars increased 25%. What’s more, in July, a Renault Zoe was the fastest selling used car in the UK, which was a first for an all-electric vehicle.

“It suggests that the traditional barriers to entry, such as the price, the infrastructure and the range, are becoming less of an issue for consumers as awareness and education improves.

“With a strong pipeline of impressive ‘second generation’ hybrid and electric models coming into the market next year, combined with new charging infrastructure being installed across the country, we have every confidence that demand for electric is set for a huge surge.”

The Auto Trader Retail Price index for August said that the average price of a second-hand petrol car in August was £10,919, an annual increase of 7%, whilst the average price of diesel was £14,408, an increase of 5%.

The rate of price growth fell 1% for both, falling from 8% and 6% respectively.

The Auto Trader Retail Price Index combines and analyses data from over 500,000 trade used car listings every day, as well as additional dealer forecourt and website data (OEM, fleet and leasing disposal prices, in addition to pricing data from over 3,000 car dealership websites and data from major auction houses across the UK).

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