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Increasing age of used cars sold shows effect of new market supply problems, Autorola says

Date: 13 January 2022   |   Author: Sean Keywood

The effects of new car supply problems on the used market are being seen in an increasing average age of cars sold, according to remarketing firm Autorola.

It said average ages of cars sold on its platform hit record highs in the final quarter of 2021, with averages of 17 months for EVs, 35 months for petrol cars, 36 months for diesel cars, and 38 months for hybrids.

It said this was mainly caused by fleets having to extend replacement cycles and consumers having to hold onto their cars for longer due to the shortage of new cars available across dealer networks.

Despite the age of cars sold increasing, the average sale price also went up during the period, by 5.5%, to reach a new record high, while hybrids and EVs reached a new high sale mix share at 8.4%, coinciding with Autorola launching a new weekly alternative fuels auction for leasing company Arval.

Autorola UK group sales director Jon Mitchell said: "For the first time we saw three fuel types of used car rise above an average age of 35 months.

"Despite that increase in average age prices continued to rise during Q4 even though December was the quietest sales month for a while. On average used cars sold online for 5.5% more (£948) than Q3 at an average price of £17,937 which is a new record for us.

"We are going to see reduced new car sales continue to fuel an increased demand for used cars throughout 2022. Some dealers cleared out some older used stock in Q4 as they reached their year-end but while fleets continue to extend replacement cycles the used car supply shortage is not going to fix itself anytime soon."