AutoTrader launches used-car comparison tool

13th April 2023 By: Irma Venter - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

AutoTrader launches used-car comparison tool

AutoTrader has launched a new feature called Price Ratings, which will allow car shoppers to see how the used car they are interested in is priced in relation to similar models in the market.

AutoTrader says Price Ratings provides a way for car buyers to determine whether the car they are looking at boasts a ‘great’, ‘fair’, ‘low’ or ‘high’ price rating. 

These ratings are based on live market data and utilise a machine-learning algorithm designed for the used-car market in South Africa. 

AutoTrader CEO George Mienie says Price Ratings is the result of the company’s ability to track every interaction (supply and demand) on every search filter a consumer uses on the AutoTrader website. 

This pertains to every car at almost every auto dealership nationwide.

“This…is very important because it helps consumers make an informed decision based on market activity in real time. 

“Our data – pertaining to both supply and demand – is constantly updated according to the most recent market activity.”

Price Ratings sees AutoTrader combine and analyse data from thousands of cars, taking into account factors such as make, model, variant or trim specification, registration year, mileage, as well as transmission and fuel types, and affording each car a ‘great’, ‘fair’, ‘low’ or ‘high’ price rating.

If a car has a ‘great’ price rating, this means the car is priced below the market average of similar cars. 

A ‘fair price’ rating means it is priced in line with, or slightly above similar cars in the market.

In the case of cars with a ‘low’ price rating, AutoTrader recommends that in-market car shoppers take a closer look, as a car with this rating is priced much lower than similar cars. 

This could be a great deal, but it could mean that the car may require further inspection.

And what about a car with a ‘high’ price rating? 

“There are valid reasons why a car could show a ‘high’ price rating,” says Mienie. 

“The vehicle may be in exceedingly good condition or have considerably lower mileage than its peers. It may also be a highly sought-after model with limited stock availability.

“There could also be additional benefits such as optional extras, special features and/or upgrades to the car, or it could come with value-added products such as extended warranties.” 

Mienie adds that the Price Ratings tool should provide more transparency to the car shopper.

“By transparency, we mean unbiased access to proprietary information that influences decision-making and, therefore, also supports dealerships in closing a sale.

“Access to this information is provided to both parties in the transaction, and not exclusively given to the seller. By doing this, trust is built with the buyer/consumer.”