Most profitable used cars 11_10_23Most profitable used cars 11_10_23


Most profitable used cars: Mercedes A-Class troubles Range Rover Evoque for top spot

  • Dealer Auction’s monthly top 10 of the most profitable used cars has been revealed
  • Evoque took top spot, but Mercedes hatchback was a surprising new entry
  • Land Rover still by far and away the most profitable used car brand overall

Time 7:25 am, October 11, 2023

The Range Rover Evoque was the most profitable used car for dealers to sell yet again last month – but a Mercedes hatchback gave it a run for its money.

The A-Class took second place in the list of used cars that make dealers the most profit in September, raking in an average of £3,200 per car.

However, the Evoque retained its perennial place at the top of the Dealer Auction Retail Margin Monitor list, making dealers an average profit of £3,850 per sale.

The trade-to-trade website cross-references the average selling price of used cars on its platform with retail prices from Auto Trader to work out the average profit margin per car. 

Speaking to Car Dealer, Dealer Auction sales and marketing director Sarah Marley said: ‘In a surprising turn, the Mercedes A-Class hatchback emerged as a powerhouse in the latest top 10, clinching the second-highest-ever retail margin for hatchbacks in September. 

‘With an average retail margin of £3,200, the A-Class not only showcased its profitability but also hinted at untapped opportunities in the industry.’

The used car trading platform said it was unusual to see a hatchback barge its way on to a top 10 list usually littered with SUVs.

In the September table, the A-Class was sandwiched between SUVs, with first, third and fourth place all taken by 4×4 models.

Most profitable used cars

Source: Dealer Auction, September 2023 Retail Margin Monitor

  1. Range Rover Evoque – £3,850
  2. Mercedes-Benz A-Class – £3,200
  3. Mitsubishi Outlander – £3,125
  4. Mazda CX-5 – £3,050
  5. Jaguar XF – £3,025
  6. BMW 1 Series – £2,875
  7. BMW 3 Series – £2,800
  8. Volvo XC60 – £3,750
  9. Mini Countryman – £2,650
  10. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – £2,575

Dealer Auction’s marketplace director, Kieran TeeBoon, added: ‘Historically, the Retail Margin Monitor has been dominated by SUVs, so it’s interesting to see the performance of the A-Class in September. 

‘While this model has appeared in the Top 10 model table before, it hasn’t ranked higher than sixth place, which could indicate new profit opportunities.’

When it comes to the most profitable used car brands during the month, Land Rover once again topped the list, followed by BMW and Jaguar.


Most profitable used car brands

Source: Dealer Auction, September 2023 Retail Margin Monitor

  1. Land Rover – £3,875
  2. BMW – £3,125
  3. Jaguar – £3,075
  4. Mercedes-Benz – £2,975
  5. Audi – £2,850
  6. Volvo – £2,775
  7. Mini – £2,575
  8. Mazda – £2,325
  9. Volkswagen – £2,250
  10. Skoda – £2,225

TeeBoon added: ‘It’s clear that mainstream brands shouldn’t be underestimated for their profit potential. 

‘Recent months have seen good representation from Volkswagen, Nissan and Kia in the Retail Margin Monitor – and now Skoda is entering the fray. 

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‘It’s also worth noting that three mainstream products are sitting just outside the top 10 model table: the Peugeot 2008, the Ford EcoSport and the Ford Kuga.

‘As we enter Q4 – historically a challenging quarter for the industry – it’s these unique opportunities for extra profit that dealers want to be honing in on when restocking.’

Dealer Auction also ranks the average number of days these used cars take to sell on sister firm Auto Trader’s marketplace.

Average number of days to sell

Source: Dealer Auction/Auto Trader, September 2023 Retail Margin Monitor

  1. Mazda CX-5 – 25
  2. Mitsubishi Outlander – 34
  3. Land Rover Range Rover Evoque – 36
  4. BMW 1 Series – 37
  5. Volvo XC60 – 37
  6. Mercedes-Benz A-Class – 38
  7. Mini Countryman – 38
  8. Jaguar XF – 39
  9. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 39
  10. BMW 3 Series – 40

Richard Walker, director of data and insights at Auto Trader, added: ‘For the vast majority of the market, we’re seeing robust levels of price growth being stimulated by a combination of strong demand and constrained stock.

‘So, while overall figures may continue to soften over the coming months due to changes in supply dynamics, the market remains profitable, which is clearly shown by the models and brands showcased in the Retail Margin Monitor.’

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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