Retail used car prices fall 1.6% in January as EVs drag numbers down – Motors

  • Price of used cars is now at its lowest point for more than year
  • Electric cars were worst performers in January, dragging numbers down
  • But demand for used cars has increased as the new year begins

Time 7:59 am, February 2, 2024

The prices dealers advertised their second-hand car stock at was at its lowest point for more than a year in January.

The latest used car market analysis shows that retail used car prices dropped by 1.6% in January – the lowest point for 15 months.

The fall in retail prices was seen across the Motors network and comes at a time trade valuations for used cars have begun to firm up.

Cap HPI director of valuations Derren Martin told Car Dealer (video above) earlier this week that prices had dropped just 0.1% in the trade in January. 

Motors says the average price of a car advertised on its site was £17,113 down from a peak 12 months ago of £18,903.

The firm’s Lucy Tugby said: ‘January provided a much needed boost in consumer demand for dealers who stocked-up in December, though it brings a fresh set of challenges.

‘Consumer demand remains sensitive to pricing and positioning. Franchised dealers experienced a slight increase in days to sell and the stable overall price position masks variations within the data. 

‘This highlights the need for dealers to be highly analytical with their data but also focus on ensuring high visibility with consumers and communicating their business messages clearly.’

Electric vehicle prices dropped the most in January, closely followed by hybrids.

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January fuel type price drops

Source: Motors

  • EV – 3%
  • Hybrid – 2%
  • Diesel – 2%
  • Petrol – 1%

Electric car prices are being hit by a growing number of used models entering the market. Models under a year old recorded the biggest falls with the MG ZS dropping 11%.

Tugby added: ‘EV adds challenges from new brands and declining used values. Against this backdrop we believe there are signs indicating a move towards more normalised EV pricing as illustrated by Tesla’s Model 3, which has been one of the used car sector’s fastest depreciating EVs. 

‘Although our data identified a 24% drop year-on-year to £32,634, the month-on-month drop was just -3% – this apparent softening suggests it is finding its place in the used car market after a rollercoaster ride which saw values peak at £52,495 exactly two years ago.’

Used car dealers saw the number of cars on their forecourts fall in January from an average of 52 to 45 cars.

The average days to sell a used car also increased from 37 days to 43. That being said, cars are still selling two days faster on average than this time in 2023. 

Franchised dealers were the worst performers when compared to independents and car supermarkets.

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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