The used car market has entered 2024 on a firm footing, according to Auto Trader, with consumer demand, speed of sale and transactions all in a “robust position”.

This is despite the latest Retail Price Index revealing a 5.6% year-on-year contraction in values to £17,064, “suggesting recent trends in trade prices are now flowing through into the retail market”.

Consumer Demand

Consumer demand grew 11.7% in December, the strongest pace of growth since July 2023. Crucially, with the rate of supply softening to just 1% year-on-year, Auto Trader Market Health also increased to the highest level since July. Proxy data indicated a 4% increase in used car sales, too.

Follow the Data

With more than 8,100 retailers pricing almost 52,000 cars on Auto Trader below their market value, director of data and insights Richard Walker urged retailers follow the data. “Worryingly, it appears some pricing strategies are being guided by wholesale trends, placing unnecessary pressure on retail values and risking profits in the process.

“Rather than a cause for concern, the retail and wholesale markets being out of sync presents a profit opportunity for retailers… more than ever, it’s crucial retailers adopt a forensic-like approach to their pricing strategies this year.”