More evidence that used car prices are slowing as eBay Motors Group reports monthly decline

  • Average used car prices fell in March, according to eBay Motors Group data
  • Firm reported a 1.1 per cent dip last month, taking the average to £17,636
  • Numbers suggest that the market is starting to stabilise after year of rocketing prices

Time 8:36 am, April 11, 2022

Used car prices have shown further signs of slowing after eBay Motors Group reported a second consecutive month of decline.

The firm has revealed that March saw a dip of 1.1 per cent compared to February, leaving the average used car price at £17,636 across its platforms.

The £189 drop suggests that the dizzying heights of the last year could now be over after a spell of unprecedented price rises.

Last week Auto Trader reported a very slight rise in prices of just 0.1 per cent – the smallest monthly increase in its data in over a year.

The latest figures, from eBay Motors group found that the biggest average shortfalls were felt by supermarkets, down 1.7 per cent (£306).

They were followed by franchised dealers, down 1.2 per cent (£257) with independents experiencing a marginal 0.1 per cent increase, equating to £19.

Month-on-month average stock volumes increased marginally from 45.6 to 46.2 units, with the rise mostly driven by car supermarkets where average stock levels increased by 14 vehicles to 322, marking a recovery after February’s 13 per cent drop.

Independents saw stocks increase by one unit to 35, while franchised dealers saw a drop of one unit to 57.

Demand remained steady in March with days to sell just 0.2 per cent lower than February at 43.4 days.

However, supermarkets, despite increased stock and price drops, saw cars average 3.1 days longer in stock than in February at 32 days.

Franchised dealers remained unchanged month-on-month at 42 days and independents saw a slight improvement from 49.1 to 48.2 days.

Dermot Kelleher, head of marketing and research at eBay Motors Group, said: ‘A stable used car market was a welcome trend for dealers in March, especially against a backdrop of a 14.3 per cent drop in new car registrations during the all-important plate change month.

‘The ongoing supply disruption caused by the global semiconductor shortage will continue to prompt in-market new car buyers to look at used alternatives.

‘Although the dip in advertised prices was the biggest so far this year, prices remain incredibly strong, tracking at 19.5 per cent ahead of where they were 12 months ago which should feed into some strong first quarter performances for many dealers.

‘However, the challenge for the market over the coming weeks and months will be the impact of the cost of living squeeze and international events on consumer confidence.

‘Our advice to retailers is to maintain the online visibility of their stock at all times and closely track pricing trends in their local areas and nationally.’

The fastest selling used car in March was the Volkswagen Golf with diesel models aged six to eight years averaging just 19.7 days on forecourts.

Elsewhere the top 10 was dominated by Ford models with six to eight year old Fiestas in second place (20.9 days) and five to six year old Fiestas in third place (21.1 days).

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The fastest selling fuel type was electric (39 days), followed by hybrid (40.5 days), diesel (42.7 days) and petrol 44.2 days.

However, electric cars continue to make up a small percentage of the overall market accounting for just 1.1 per cent of listings and 1 per cent of ad views.

Car Dealer produced a special investigation into used car prices – we looked at why they went up, and what could happen next. You can read it here.

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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