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Women have led the way in upgrading to a more desirable car in 2020 

Women have led the way in upgrading to a more desirable car in 2020 

A RISE in average prices paid for used cars this year is largely driven by women, analysis by the online car supermarket has revealed. 

Prices paid during 2020 have steadily risen all year, reflecting an apparently increased consumer appetite for more desirable makes and models. 

But while average prices paid overall are ending the year 6.3% higher than at the start, deeper analysis reveals that women are now buying cars that cost an average 60% more than they were choosing in April. 

Dramatic fluctuations in demand during 2020, thanks to the coronavirus crisis and restrictions introduced to combat the pandemic, saw average prices reach record heights during the late summer. But when the underlying trend is analysed it reveals a more consistent pattern, rising from £12,929 to £13,753. That's £824 more, or an increase of 6.4%. 

However, since April, women have been opting to buy much more desirable makes and models, resulting in an increase of 60% - and that figure is still rising. 

Historically, on, men have typically bought cars costing around £4,000 more than those chosen by women. But a surge in women heading online to replace their cars has closed that gap over the past two months to just £800. 

The trend began in April, as a nationwide lockdown prompted a surge of interest in online car-buying. Although men continue to outnumber women as customers of BuyaCar in all but the 18- to 24-year-old age bracket, the proportion of women who buy cars online is around double that in the traditional dealer showroom environment. Now it seems that more women are not only making online their preferred way of buying a car, they are choosing more desirable cars too. 

In April women paid an average of £8,679 for a car. This figure has now risen to £13,931 and represents the biggest contributing factor to 2020's overall increase in online used car sale prices. 

Women are also commonly upgrading to a more desirable model by choosing slightly older cars, so that they now represent more than half of all customers for cars first registered in 2013 and 2014. 

Andy Oldham, Chief Executive of, said: "The industry has known for a long time that women are more likely to prefer the online buying experience to that of the traditional showroom environment and our figures for this record sales year show that they are voting with their money like never before. 

"The fact that this surge in sales to women in particular has been happening during 2020 suggests a possible link with the disruption to the traditional market caused by the coronavirus problem, but more work is needed to understand the trend. 

"But what we certainly know is that women are driving the appetite for more expensive and desirable cars and are choosing to get more car for their money by looking at slightly older models than before." 

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