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Lack of affordable used car options hits young people – analysis

Young people are being squeezed out of the used car market by a lack of affordable options, figures show (Alamy/PA)
Young people are being squeezed out of the used car market by a lack of affordable options, figures show (Alamy/PA)

Young people are being squeezed out of the used car market by a lack of affordable options, new figures show.

Auto Trader said the number of vehicles listed on its online vehicle marketplace for under £11,000 has fallen by 46% since January 2016, to 264,000.

It commissioned a survey of 6,000 people which indicated that was the price bracket for the last car bought by nearly three out of five (58%) drivers aged 17-24 who had made a purchase.

Auto Trader attributed the reduction in available vehicles at that price to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the supply of new cars, which added to inflationary pressure on the used car market.

It warned insurance costs are also a barrier to young drivers.

Latest data from price comparison service MoneySuperMarket shows the average cost of a policy for 17-year-olds was 67% higher in April compared with the same month last year.

Department for Transport figures show as of 2022 some 706,000 people in England aged 17-20 held a full driving licence.

Auto Trader editorial director Erin Baker said: “Car ownership and usage is vital to young people, but cost remains a clear barrier.

“They also show higher levels of interest in electric cars but are less likely to be able to afford them, thanks to stock shortages caused by Covid.

“Those dynamics are only likely to be addressed over time.”