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The national picture

Prices for new and used vehicles skyrocketed in 2021 as consumer demand returned, but a global shortage of microchips and production delays strained new car inventory. Pent-up demand pushed prices to record highs in Canada, raising 34.5 per cent for used cars and 12.7 per cent for new cars between December 2020 and December 2021, according to the AutoTrader.ca Price Index for December, 2021.

Consumers stocking up on electronics in the early days of the pandemic, combined with automakers reducing or cancelling orders for chips as they expected demand for cars to fall, forced automakers to the back of the line. They were unable to quickly ramp up production as Canadians expressed greater desire for vehicle ownership, citing reasons such as hygiene and lack of comfort with public transit. Through the first year of the pandemic, some Canadians saved significantly more than usual and AutoTrader.ca research shows 63 per cent of survey respondents who were able to save, plan to use the money on a car. Moreover, 34 per cent of those who plan to buy a car, plan to buy a more expensive vehicle than initially budgeted.

The shortage of new cars pushed up prices for used cars as fewer drivers traded in their vehicles and returns from fleet companies dropped.

Prices are also rising because Canadians are buying larger vehicles. An AutoTrader.ca survey found 30 per cent of car shoppers intend to upsize their vehicle and among those nearly half intend to upsize to an SUV, while a third plan to pivot to a truck. Respondents cited more cargo space, comfort and more seats as the top reasons for going big.

The provincial picture

Looking at pricing changes by region, Ontario saw the largest increase in average prices for used cars, jumping 35.9 per cent to $33,923 and Manitoba and Saskatchewan saw the largest increase in average new car prices, rising 15.4 per cent to $54,723. However, Ontario’s increase for used cars was not that much higher than the smallest increase of 29.7 per cent in British Columbia. And in new cars, the rise in Manitoba and Saskatchewan was less than five percentage points higher than British Columbia, which saw the smallest increase. On average, those in Alberta paid the most for a new car ($54,859) and those in British Columbia paid the most for a used car ($37,357).

Atlantic Region

$44,93514.3%YoY

$29,81734.2%YoY

Alberta

$54,85911.2% YoY

$36,85529.8% YoY

British Columbia

$53,38710.9% YoY

$37,35729.7% YoY

Manitoba & Saskatchewan

$54,72315.4% YoY

$34,92731.6% YoY

Ontario

$49,81413.5% YoY

$33,92335.9% YoY

Quebec

$45,97512.9% YoY

$29,43435.4% YoY

The picture in search

Looking to see what other potential car buyers are searching for? These were the top 10 most searched vehicles in 2021 on AutoTrader.ca, along with their average listing prices. Click the links to read Globe Drive’s review of the model, view listings in your area and find the latest discounts, rebates and rates for your selected model through our build and price tool.

1. Ford F-150

2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid.Brendan McAleer/The Globe and Mail

Average new price: $67,497

Average used price: $41,279

Read the review: Ford’s comfortable and stable F-150 hybrid is perfectly equipped for extreme situations

Get exclusive savings on a new model through the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool or explore live listings in your area on AutoTrader.ca.

2. Ford Mustang

2019 Ford Mustang Ecoboost Convertible.Courtesy of manufacturer

Average new price: $56,151

Average used price: $40,177

Read the review: The Mustang EcoBoost is a greener take on the pony car, but still offers plenty of fun

Get exclusive savings on a new model through the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool or explore live listings in your area on AutoTrader.ca.

3. BMW 3-Series

BMW 330E.Handout

Average new price: $59,936

Average used price: $28,064

Read the review: At long last, the BMW 3 Series revs up its game

Get exclusive savings on a new model through the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool or explore live listings in your area on AutoTrader.ca.

4. Porsche 911

2022 Porsche 911 GT3.Matt Bubbers/The Globe and Mail

Average new price: $169,800

Average used price: $162,400

Read the review: Rebirth of the everyday supercar

Get exclusive savings on a new model through the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool or explore live listings in your area on AutoTrader.ca.

5. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Mercedes Benz 2022 C-Class Sedan.Courtesy of manufacturer

Average new price: $68,906

Average used price: $39,326

Read the review: The new 2022 Mercedes C-Class is here to win over junior managers

Get exclusive savings on a new model through the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool or explore live listings in your area on AutoTrader.ca.

6. Honda Civic

2022 Honda Civic.Jeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

Average new price: $33,107

Average used price: $15,327

Read the review: New Honda Civic keeps some of its charm for loyal fans, boosts its safety rating

Get exclusive savings on a new model through the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool or explore live listings in your area on AutoTrader.ca.

7. Toyota RAV4

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime.Brendan McAleer/The Globe and Mail

Average new price: $37,343

Average used price: $28,712

Read the review: The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is a roomy, family-friendly crossover that is good at nearly everything

Get exclusive savings on a new model through the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool or explore live listings in your area on AutoTrader.ca.

8. Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Mercedes-Benz E450 All-Terrain.Jeremy sinek/The Globe and Mail

Average new price: $94,091

Average used price: $50,984

Read the review: The Mercedes-Benz E450 All-Terrain offers a balanced ride that has modest off-road ability

Get exclusive savings on a new model through the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool or explore live listings in your area on AutoTrader.ca.

9. Chevrolet Corvette

2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible.Jeremy Au Yeung/The Globe and Mail

Average new price: $114,833

Average used price: $80,509

Read the review: 2021 Corvette Stingray looks, performs European, but for less than half the price

Get exclusive savings on a new model through the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool or explore live listings in your area on AutoTrader.ca.

10. Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Average new price: $39,989

Average used price: $27,469

Read the review: Honda redesigns larger CR-V from scratch despite success

Get exclusive savings on a new model through the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool or explore live listings in your area on AutoTrader.ca.

This data was provided by the autoTrader.ca Price Index. Here is a link to the full December 2021 report.


Read the methodology

Click below to learn more about each of the data points for the index.

National Average Price - Marketplace Index:

Based on average Canadian automotive pricing data (CAD $) collected from hundreds of thousands of listings monthly on AutoTrader.ca. In addition to average pricing, year-over-year (YOY) price changes have been identified. The average has been adjusted based on the make and age of the vehicles available on the market during the collection period. The adjustments mean that any fluctuations in inventory won’t pull the average too far in one direction or another. Any changes under 0.1% have been denoted as 0.0%.

National Average Price by Region:

Based on average Canadian automotive pricing data (CAD $) collected from hundreds of thousands of listings monthly on AutoTrader.ca. The Atlantic region is defined as: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador. Due to limited population size, the territories are excluded, and Manitoba and Saskatchewan have been combined. In addition to average pricing, year-over-year (YOY) price changes have been identified. The average has been adjusted based on the make and age of the vehicles available on the market during the collection period. The adjustments mean that any fluctuations in inventory won’t pull the average too far in one direction or another. Any changes under 0.1% have been denoted as 0.0%.

National Top Searched Vehicles:

Based on the top ten most commonly searched vehicles for new and used listings on AutoTrader.ca in 2021 (January to December). Prices indicated refer to the average new and average used price for each vehicle, averaged across all trim levels. The average has been adjusted based on the make and age of the vehicles available on the market during the collection period. The adjustments mean that any fluctuations in inventory won’t pull the average too far in one direction or another.

About the autoTRADER.ca Index:

The AutoTrader.ca Price Index offers a monthly view of the Canadian automotive market by analyzing vehicle pricing associated with hundreds of thousands of new and used vehicle listings, bringing you the latest in pricing shifts and trends over time.