Haggle-hardened Brits barter more than £900 off the price of cars according to Auto Trader

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• Three in five motorists pay under the asking price when they buy a car • The average car is worth £376 less in Q3 2012 than Q3 2010 • Average asking price of a car in Q3 2012 is £8,711

Auto Trader

The economic downturn has turned British motorists in to such good barterers that they haggled an average of £939 off the price of a car, according to the Q3 2012 Auto Trader Owners’ Guide.

Auto Trader’s Owners’ Guide is a quarterly in-depth examination of the automotive marketplace. Its latest findings show how far the market is currently skewed towards buyers, with three-in-five motorists paying under the asking price for a new or used car in the past quarter (July-September).

The report reveals that men are better negotiators when it comes to price, on average saving £300 more than women. The average saving made by male motorists was £1,029 compared to female drivers £706. Auto Trader, the number one motoring digital marketplace, believes part of the problem is sellers misjudging the state of the market before pricing their vehicle.

Nathan Coe, Group Director of Auto Trader, said: “With so many sellers getting less than they were expecting for their cars it raises the question of whether this is people not valuing their cars appropriately or whether it’s buyers taking advantage of a weak market. Everyone knows buyers look at the state of the market before they purchase, but consumers have a lack of understanding about accurate pricing when it comes to selling. Sellers should do research through online car valuation sites to prevent disappointment.”

The findings come at the end of a poor period for sellers with advertised prices at the end of Q3 2012 being £376 lower than at the same point in 2010. Although the top concern for sellers is not getting the asking price for their vehicle, many jeopardise their chances by choosing the most convenient way to sell a car (51%) rather than the one that may get them the best price (20%), further reducing the amount they will get for their cars.

However, Auto Trader’s Retail Price Index, which tracks the average asking price of used cars, indicates the situation is starting to improve for sellers. Although advertised prices reached their lowest ever mark in July this year – and are £159 lower than this time last year - they have started to improve. The average cost of a car increased to £8,711 over the quarter as a whole with prices in September alone increasing by 3%, indicating the market may not be tipped in the buyers favour for too much longer.

Nathan Coe continues: “While it is a good time to buy a car, the market is starting to turn so buyers should not be complacent. Those who are willing to do their homework will usually get the best deals. It’s advisable to research the price and specifications of cars online ahead of making a purchase so buyers are armed with the knowledge and confidence that enables them to make more informed decisions.”

Download the full Auto Trader Q3 Owners’ Guide or for more information, please click here

– Ends –

Notes to editors

Auto Trader surveyed 3,402 motorists online in September 2012 in collaboration with eDigital Research.

Auto Trader Retail Price Index research methodology
Base Data and how average prices are calculated: The Auto Trader Retail Price Index monitors the movement of advertised asking prices based on used vehicles advertised on autotrader.co.uk since January 2010. As this represents over 80% of all available used cars for sale in the UK, Auto Trader is in a unique position to comment on variations in advertised prices.

With more than 15,000 dealers – an estimated 85% of all car dealers in the UK – advertising their vehicles on the Auto Trader website and the ability to sample up to 400,000 individual used cars each month, the impact of natural fluctuations in the profile of the used cars (due to variations in age, mileage, condition) is minimised.

Data Cleansing for Auto Trader Retail Price Index: Using a variety of business and proprietary rules, raw advert data is cleansed to ensure an accurate reflection of prices and to remove any anomalies such as entries that lack sufficient information or duplicates.

About Auto Trader
Auto Trader is the UK’s number one motoring digital marketplace with over 10.85 million monthly unique users, carrying out over 159 million searches on more than 370,000 new and used vehicles. Over 2.8 million people access Auto Trader via their mobile devices every month, through the mobile-optimised site and apps developed for iPhone, iPad, Android and Nokia. Auto Trader is part of Trader Media Group. For more information, visit http://www.autotrader.co.uk

Trader Media Group is Europe’s largest specialist multi-media group and supplier of leading automotive marketing products and services. The Group also offers a range of other specialist online publications including: trucks.autotrader.co.uk, plant.autotrader.co.uk, farm.autotrader.co.uk
motorhomes.autotrader.co.uk,caravans.autotrader.co.uk,autotrader.co.uk/bikes,vans.autotrader.co.uk. Trader Media Group operates in the UK, Ireland and South Africa and is jointly owned by Guardian Media Group and Apax Partners. For more information, visit http://www.tradermediagroup.com

For all media enquiries, please contact the Auto Trader Press Office at Citizen Relations:
T: 020 3451 9400
E: autotrader(at)citizenrelations(dot)com

Headline Regional Figures

  •     Northern Ireland: Has the most expensive average used car price in the UK (£9,963)
  •     South West: Has the lowest average used car prices in the UK in Q3 2012 (£7,802)
  •     London: Has seen the most value wiped off the value of used cars in the past two years (£977 since Q3 2010)
  •     South East: Has seen the biggest year-on-year decrease in asking price in the UK (-£472)
  •     East Midlands: Saw the biggest price increase during Q3 2012 (+3% - from £8,284 to £8,491)
  •     West Midlands: Has seen the largest fall in prices since the start of 2010 (-£1,035)
  •     North East: Saw the biggest month-on month increase in the average asking price of a car in September (8% - from £7,729 to £8,336)

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Karel Kumar
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