Optimise your advert performance with Performance Rating

Understand, improve and track advert performance

What is it?

Performance Rating is a measure of how your adverts are performing on Auto Trader. It shows how well your adverts are optimised for the three key conversion points of the buying journey.

Watch this video to learn more about Performance Rating and how to use it.

Performance Rating explained

To generate your Performance Rating, every day we calculate an expected response for search appearances, advert views and leads & connections. We then compare your advert response to this expectation and generate the Performance Rating. Performance Rating looks at the following characteristics: Make, model, trim, age, mileage, body type, fuel type and location of the vehicle.

Watch the video above for a more detailed explanation.

Performance Rating for each vehicle can be broken into these four categories:


Your advert generated much less response than expected.

Below Average

Your advert generated less response than expected.

Above Average

Your advert generated more response than expected.


Your advert generated much more response than expected.

What's the benefit to me?

Maximise your return on investment

Save time by focusing on problem adverts

See the results of your advert changes

How do I use it?

Quickly see which adverts need your attention and focus your time.

Understand performance at each stage of the buying journey and what you can do to improve it.

Helps you make informed decisions on what needs to be improved and shows the impact any amends you make have on your advert’s performance.

Optimise for the journey to purchase on Auto Trader

There are 3 key stages of the buying journey on our site and our new performance rating helps you optimise the journey between.

Search appearances

Are browsers finding your adverts?

Success factors:

  • Pricing
  • Advert quality
  • Paid prominence

Advert views

Are you attracting browsers onto your advert?

Success factors:

  • Pricing
  • Advert quality (image quality and attention grabber)
  • Dealer rating
  • Paid prominence

Leads & connections

Are you converting browsers into buyers?

Success factors:

  • Contact methods - including live chat and text
  • Advert quality (key information and descriptions)
  • Dealer reviews
  • Finance options

Want to know more about optimising your adverts for each of these stages?

Jobs not journeys

Our latest Car Buyers Report highlighted that car buyers have many jobs to complete on their path to purchase. It’s not a simple journey. Buyers consider over four different brands on average, as well as two body types.

Read our latest car buyers report to make sure you answer buyers’ key questions on your Auto Trader adverts.