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Used electric cars selling faster than petrols for the very first time

  • Used electric cars are selling faster than petrols for the first time
  • EVs now selling 41 per cent faster than at the start of the year
  • Nissan Leaf (2017) not hanging around for long on dealer forecourts
  • Diesels shifting faster than electric and petrols though

Time 8:46 am, November 27, 2021

Electric cars are currently selling faster than petrols for the very first time.

That’s the latest from Auto Trader. Its Fastest Selling Index found that on average, a used EV is currently taking just 26 days to sell, which is two days faster than a used petrol vehicle (28), but two days slower than a used diesel (24).

Used electric vehicles are selling an incredible 41 per cent faster than at the start of the year, leaving forecourts 18 days sooner than they did in January (44 days).


Quickest to leave forecourts is the second-generation (2017-present) Nissan Leaf, taking an average of just 20 days to leave forecourts, says Auto Trader.

It’s followed into second place by the Renault Zoe (2016) which is taking 23 days to sell, and into third by the Tesla Model 3 (2021), which is taking 27.

Auto Trader calls the acceleration in days to sell as ‘staggering’ and is reflected in data it’s seeing on its platform – a 122.6 per cent year-on-year increase in the volume of EV searches and advert views on Auto Trader.

The firm does caveat the growth in popularity comes as used EVs still represent a small percentage of the overall market.


Moreover, says Auto Trader, only a small number of people show genuine intent towards purchasing one.

Just 25 per cent of EV considerers account for more than three quarters (79 per cent) of all EVs looked at on its marketplace, it says.

Despite the increased speed of sale for used EVs, looking at all fuel types across the total used car market, a pure-electric failed to make it on to the national list of fastest selling models.

Hybrids were better represented, with the Hyundai Ioniq (2017) and Toyota Prius+ (2020) ranking at second and seventh respectively.

However, it’s diesels which continues to dominate, representing seven of the top 10, including the number one spot with the Seat Alhambra (2017), which is currently taking an average of just 15 days to sell.

Auto Trader’s director of commercial products, Karolina Edwards-Smajda, said: ‘The acceleration in the speed of sale of used electric vehicles reflects a significant increase in consumer demand this year, which has been driven by a myriad of factors, not least rising fuel costs.

‘The used electric market will play an important role in driving mass adoption and reaching the government’s 2030 targets, however, as it stands, the “green premium” for buying a new or used EV mean they remain out of reach for the vast majority of car buyers.

‘If the government is serious in its ambition, it will need to do a lot more to make EVs financially accessible to more than just the most affluent; it would do well to take the lead from other European markets which are applying a smarter approach to incentives and a more comprehensive set of enabling policies.’

Fastest-selling used cars (as of Nov 23)

1. 2017 Seat Alhambra
Diesel, automatic
Days to sell: 15

2. 2017 Hyundai Ioniq
Petrol, hybrid
Days to sell: 16

3. 2016 Mazda CX-5
Diesel, manual
Days to sell: 16

4. 2015 Nissan Qashqai
Petrol, automatic
Days to sell: 16

5. 2017 Ford Galaxy
Diesel, manual
Days to sell: 16

6. 2018 Volkswagen Sharan
Diesel, manual
Days to sell: 16

7. 2020 Toyota Prius+
Petrol, hybrid
Days to sell: 16

8. 2016 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso
Diesel, automatic
Days to sell: 17

9. 2015 Mazda CX-5
Diesel, automatic
Days to sell: 17

10. 2016 Ford Grand C-Max
Diesel, manual
Days to sell: 17

Current fastest-selling EVs (as of Nov 23)

1. 2017 Nissan Leaf
Days to sell: 20

2. 2016 Renault Zoe
Days to sell: 23

3. 2021 Tesla Model 3
Days to sell: 27


4. 2016 Tesla Model S
Days to sell: 30

5. 2020 MG ZS EV
Days to sell: 31

6. 2021 Audi Q4 e-tron
Days to sell: 34

7. 2021 Porsche Taycan
Days to sell: 34

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8. 2018 Kia Soul
Days to sell: 37

9. 2021 Kia Niro
Days to sell: 37

10. 2019 Tesla Model X
Days to sell: 37

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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