Decreases in used car prices have halted for the first time this year, says Motors

  • Average used car prices went up 1% month on month in April to £16,964
  • Prices have been slowly dropping since December 2023, says Motors
  • Stock levels rise across franchised, independent and car supermarket sectors

Time 11:17 am, May 2, 2024

The average retail price of a used car rose last month for the first time this year after a series of monthly dips, according to the latest Motors Market View.

Prices averaged £16,964, a month-on-month rise of 1% – or £146 – but that was down 9% from £18,564 in April 2023.

But despite the downward movement, average prices are still up by 8% when compared with pre-pandemic levels.

Motors said the rise was led by franchised dealers and car supermarkets, which saw increases of 1% to £24,640 and £16,425 respectively.

But the average price from independent dealers dipped by 1.5% to £12,885.

The only rises by age were among two-to-five-year-old and five-to-10-year-old cars, which were both up 0.3%.

Increases by fuel type were led by electric cars, which were up 2.5% to £25,905, followed by petrol (up 2% to £16,670) and diesel (up 1% to £15,274), while hybrids dropped 2.5% to £27,765.

Average prices for all fuel types were, however, down year on year.

Dealer stock levels increased month on month from 45 to 47 units, putting them on a par with April 2023.

Franchised dealers benefited from an influx of part-exchanges after the new 24-plate in March, with inventories growing month on month from 51 to 55 units.

Car supermarkets also increased from 207 to 211 units, while independents were static at 37 units.

With more de-fleeted EVs now entering the used car market, the proportion of fully electric models listed by dealers on Motors in April rose by 5% month on month and 14% year on year.

EVs made up 5% of all dealer stock but just 1% of ad views.

Alternatively fuelled vehicles, EVs and hybrids, meanwhile, accounted for 12.4% of dealer stock, which is the highest level recorded to date.

Lucy Tugby, marketing director of Motors, said: ‘Average used car prices have been steadily falling since hitting their post-pandemic peak of £18,927 in January 2023.

‘We’re tracking the market closely to see if April’s rise is an early sign that those monthly declines are halting and whether the market is heading for a period of greater price stability.

‘The cumulative effect of those monthly drops means the average price is now £1,600 below where it was this time last year, so this small rise can be viewed as a correction, although it is worth noting this is still £1,282 higher than pre-pandemic in February 2020.’

She added: ‘Price drops have certainly opened pockets of opportunity for dealers, as desirable makes and models become more affordable for buyers.

‘In April, the Volkswagen Golf overtook the Vauxhall Corsa to become the second best-selling model on Motors behind the Ford Fiesta, with the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class also performing strongly.

‘Dealers who stay on top of data and trends will be able to benefit from the opportunities that inevitably arise in the market.’

Main image via PA

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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