Dealers cutting prices helped speed up sales of used cars in March

  • Used cars took just 35 days to sell in March – quicker than February 2024 and March 2023
  • Dealers ‘realigning’ prices help with speed of sale
  • Electric cars were some of the quickest to sell
  • Average used car price on Motors dipped to £16,766

Time 8:41 am, April 3, 2024

Dealers cutting prices helped speed up sales of used cars in March, new data from Motors reveals.

Used cars averaged just 35 days of physical and online forecourts, said the advertising platform – six days less than February and two days less than 12 months ago. Surprisingly, electric cars were the fastest to sell in March.

Motors’ latest Market View report showed all retailing sectors achieved faster month-on-month (MoM) and year-on-year (YoY) sales, led by car supermarkets at just 21 days, down from 29 in February.

Franchised dealers averaged 29 days in stock, down from 34 in February, while independents improved MoM from 56 to 49 days.

Overall, the fastest sales were achieved by cars in the £10,000 – £14,999 (30 days) and £15,000 – £19,999 (32 days) price bands.

Cars aged between two and five years also dropped by 11% YoY to an average of £19,505.

The average price of a used car on Motors dipped MoM by just £58 (or 0.6%) to £16,766 but was 9% down YoY. March was the latest month in a downward trend since peaking at £18,903 in January 2023.

Motors reported a 4% drop in used car prices for Q1 2024 compared to Q4 2023.

The firm said that half of all car buyer ad views in March on its platform were for diesel models, followed by petrol (45%), hybrid (4%) and electric (2%).

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The fastest selling cars for the month were the electric Audi E-Tron and Polestar 2, both averaging 11 days in stock.

Lucy Tugby, marketing director of Motors, said: ‘Improved days to sell highlighted the appetite of in-market buyers to purchase in March, as well as showing the agility of dealers smartly sourcing stock and pricing competitively.

‘The gradual downward realignment of prices is making younger cars priced under £20,000 more affordable for many consumers. This was certainly the case in March with buyers benefitting from price tags for 2-5 year old cars tracking at around £2,330 less than 12 months ago.’

She added: ‘Overall our Q1 data shows there are opportunities for dealers to be successful by combining high levels of online exposure with operational excellence to attract, win and retain customers.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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