Used car prices fall back in line with ‘seasonal norms’ in April as EVs continue to struggle

  • Cap HPI reveals its latest pricing data for April 2024
  • Firm reveals that prices dropped by 1.5% in fourth month of the year
  • Experts put dip down to seasonal factors and say results are in line with pre-Covid levels

Time 2:51 pm, April 26, 2024

Used car prices have fallen back in line with ‘seasonal norms’ in April – despite values dropping for the second month in a row.

Cap HPI has reported prices of three year old cars, around the 60,000 mile point, fell by around 1.5% in the fourth month of the year – equivalent to around £300.

The dip is the marks the second month of decline in a row, after values grew 0.7% growth in February – the first rise in over a year.

March saw a marginal decline of 0.1% but overall, used values rose by 0.5% in the first quarter of the year.

As a result, Cap HPI says that the latest decline is nothing for dealers to worry about and puts it down to number of factors, including the Easter break.

The firm’s director of valuations, Derren Martin, said that the figures were in line with pre-pandemic norms for the time if year.

He said: ‘The market feels healthy but a number of retailers have expressed that demand is slightly below where they had hoped and budgeted for, after a robust first quarter.

‘Petrol-engine vehicles have continued to be the flavour of the month, with dealers comfortable that they will sell these quicker than other fuel types. Interestingly, BEVs and diesel-engine cars have been the slowest to sell, making dealers wary about overstocking.’

April’s biggest used car price rises

Source: Cap HPI, three-year-old cars at 30k miles 

  1. Ford Mustang Convertible: 4.0%, £1,179
  2. Audi A7 (Hybrid): 4.0%,  £,1,088
  3. BMW Z4 Roadster: 4.0%, £1,034
  4. Mazda MX-5: 4.0%, £571
  5. Mercedes SL-Class: 3%,

Elsewhere, values at the one-year age point declined by 1.3%, at five years old, values reduced by 2.0% and 3.0% at the 10-year point.

With summer approaching, the strength of the market can best be seen in convertibles and coupe cabriolets, with all other sectors experiencing an average drop in values in April’s Cap Live at the three-year age point.

Upper medium, or D-Sector, cars dropped by the most, with BEV and diesel models most heavily affected, Cap’s research found.

Another tough month for ‘volatile’ used EV prices

The plummeting value of used EVs has been one of the biggest talking points within the industry for well over a year and the slide shows no sign of stopping.

BEVs saw the largest average decline of any fuel type, dropping by 3.7%,– £780 – on average, compared to petrol at 1.0% (£200 )and diesel at 1.9% (£380).

It marks the biggest drop in BEV values since June of last year, with the Toyota BZ4X  leading the way with an average decline of 12.5 – equivilant to £2,800.

Elsewhere the Nissan Leaf decreased by 8.5% (£800), the Polestar 2 by 7.0% (£1,300) and the Ford Mustang Mach-E by 5.5% (£1,225).

It wasn’t all bad news for EVs however, with the Honda e, Lexus UX, and Seat MII all remaining level.

There were even some increases, with the electric Mini Cooper rising 1.0% (£100) and the Cupra Born 2.1%(£300).

April’s biggest used car price falls

Source: Cap HPI, three-year-old cars at 30k miles 

  1. Toyota BZ4X: -12.5%, £3,295
  2. Seat Leon: -10.0%, £1,787
  3. Vauxhall Vivaro Life: -8.7%, £1,471
  4. Kia Stonic: -8.6%, £950
  5. Nissan Leaf: -8.5%, £978

Martin added: ‘It would not be a surprise to see values continuing to gently dip in Cap Live in May, in what is traditionally one of the more difficult months of the year, with supply still high from March and April new car activity, plus Bank Holidays to contend with.

‘The average May movement in values since 2012,  excluding 2020 and 2021 due to the highly unusual used market in those years, was 1.6%.

‘So, if we are returning to seasonal norms, somewhere close to this average would not be a shock.

‘Battery Electric models will likely continue to see mixed-value moves. There have been some incredibly large drops this month, which may help stimulate demand, but there could also be some large movements to come for some cars as they continue to find their place in the market.’

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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