January’s average used car prices rise 5% to hit new high of £18,937, reports eBay Motors Group

The average price of a used car increased 5% in January to a new high of £18,937, marking the seventh consecutive monthly rise on, according to eBay Motors Group’s latest Market View.

The rise equated to a month-on-month increase of £837, with prices tracking at 4% ahead of where they were in January 2022.

The increase was felt across all three main retailing sectors, led by franchised dealers £24,773 (+5%); followed by independents at £14,087 (+3%) and car supermarkets at £18,640 (+1%).

The continued strength of pricing is illustrated by the Vauxhall Corsa, the popular mainstream city car, which saw its month-on-month average rise 9% to £20,221, marking a year-on-year jump of 21%.

Strong prices were maintained against a backdrop of dealers stocking fewer cars and taking longer to sell them.

Average stock levels dropped month-on-month from 59 to 55 units (-7%). The drop was led by independents, down from 37 to 33 units (-11%), followed by car supermarkets down from 412 to 398 units (-3%). While franchised dealers remained unchanged at 85 units.

Although it took dealers three extra days to sell cars in January than it did in December, averaging 42 days, it was still an improvement compared to the 46 days recorded 12 months ago.

The increase was felt across the sector with franchised dealers, averaging 34 days, four more than December, car supermarkets 37 days (+6 days) and independents 54 days (+7 days).

The fastest sales by price brand were achieved by vehicles advertised from £15,000-£19,999 (35 days), followed by £20,000-£40,000 (39 days).

“Many dealers we have spoken to have reported a busier than expected January with some tracing rising buyer activity from as early as Boxing Day. This commitment to spend reflects just how essential a car purchase is for most buyers, especially in the current economic climate where household budgets are under pressure,” said Lucy Tugby, Marketing Director of eBay Motors Group.

“Healthy consumer demand for used cars, in a market with fewer units available, helped drive the seventh consecutive rise in average prices to £18,937, the highest we have ever tracked on Market View,” she said.

It was also a notable month for the number of used battery electric and hybrid cars being stocked by dealers.

“With more alternative fuelled vehicles now entering the used car market, one in 10 vehicles listed on in January was either hybrid or electric,” said Tugby.