Auto Trader data suggests surge in demand for convertibles may finally have arrived

  • Sunshine finally puts convertibles into Auto Trader’s top 10 fastest sellers
  • Mercedes C-Class convertible and Mazda MX-5 RF mark first soft tops in the list this year
  • Mercedes GLC remains the fastest-selling used car overall with an average of just 11 days

Time 11:44 am, June 27, 2024

A summer surge in demand for convertibles could be just around the corner as a heatwave continues to sweep the country.

That is according to fresh data from Auto Trader which suggests that drivers have finally rediscovered an appetite for soft tops following the belated arrival of the British summer.

The firm’s latest days-to-sell data has revealed two cabriolets among the top 10 – marking the first appearances for convertibles so far this year.

The Mercedes C-Class convertible (petrol, 3-5-years) took dealers an average of 15.5 days to shift between May 27 and June 24, while the Mazda MX-5 RF (petrol, 3-5-years) took around 16 days.

That placed them in 9th and 10th place respectively, with Auto Trader suggesting that traditional seasonal buyer behaviour may finally be on the way in 2024.

Despite that, consumer demand for convertibles is still down 5.6% on the same point last year, which was the hottest June on record.

By contrast, temperatures this summer has only just started to soar, following the wettest spring since 1986.

Convertibles also have some way to go before knocking SUVs off the top of the list, where demand has shot up 27% on last year.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC (diesel, aged 1-3 years) is currently the fastest-selling used car, taking an average of just 11 days to leave UK forecourts, three times faster than the current national average of 29 days.  On average, SUVs are taking around 27 days to sell.

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More generally, Auto Trader’s data has found that used cars are currently selling three days faster than in June last year, with demand up by around 13%.

On a regional level, Scottish car dealers are selling vehicles at the fastest rate – an average of 24 days – eight days faster than London, which has the slowest speed of sale of all UK regions, at 32 days.

Reacting to the latest figures, Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s Data & Insights director, said: ‘The speed at which used cars sell is an accurate barometer of the strength of the used car market and our data suggests it remains in very robust health as we enter the summer months.

‘With such nuance in the market, the analysis also serves as a good reminder of the importance of looking at data on a granular level.

‘A high-level view would suggest convertibles are under performing, but a quick look under the bonnet reveals there’s plenty of models bucking the overall trend with the final arrival of summer.’

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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