Used car prices saw a small decline in April as worries over stock began to ease, eBay Motors Group has found.
The firm’s monthly Market View report revealed that average prices fell by 1.5 per cent to £17,290 in the fourth month of the year.
It follows a decline of 1.1 per cent in March and is the third month in a row that prices have fallen, following record rises last year.
Despite signs that the market is beginning to slow down, the cost of a used car was still 19.1 per cent higher than April 2021.
The biggest monthly price drops were recorded by car supermarkets, which were down three per cent to £17,461, following 1.7 per cent drops in both March and February.
Franchised dealers saw prices drop 2.5 per cent to £20,411, following a 1.2 per cent drop in March.
Meanwhile, independents saw a marginal 0.4 per cent drop, equating to just £54, to £14,825, following a 0.1 per cent rise in March.
Despite the ongoing stock challenges facing dealers, inventories increased marginally in April from 46.2 to 47.7 units, on a par with April 2021 (47.2 units), when lockdown restrictions were lifted.
In further signs of welcome stability, days to sell also remained consistent with dealers averaging 40.3 days, compared to 41.4 days in March 2021, and just over three days faster than April 2021.
Car supermarkets enjoyed the fastest sales at 30.7 days, followed by franchised dealers at 36.8 days, while independents took the longest at 47.3 days, up from 46.3 in March.
Petrol continues to be the most popular fuel choice, accounting for over half of all ad views (53.7 per cent) and listings (52.3 per cent), followed by diesel with 42.6 per cent of ad views and 43.4 per cent of listings.
Despite alternatively fuelled vehicles still accounting for low volumes of ad views and listings, both sold considerably faster than combustion engine cars.
Hybrid vehicles took 2.8 per cent of ad views and 3.2 per cent of listings, while electric accounted for just 1 per cent of ad views and 1.1 per cent of listings.
However, in terms of days to sell, electric vehicles averaged just 33.6 days and hybrid 35.4 days, compared to diesels at 39.7 days and petrol at 41.2 days.
Dermot Kelleher, head of marketing and research at eBay Motors Group, said: ‘The 1.5 per cent drop in average advertised prices is in line with the dips we’ve already seen this year and trends in the wholesale arena.
‘However, it’s worth emphasising that prices are still tracking at 19 per cent above where they were this time last year – an average sticker price difference of £2,778.
‘This pricing adjustment is an inevitable outcome of the successive rises we saw during the second half of 2021 and emphasises the need for dealers to remain agile in how they price every model on their physical and digital forecourts.
‘With the cost of living crisis set to impact the choices made by some used car buyers, this pricing agility will prove invaluable over the coming weeks and months, as well as thinking about ways to reassure buyers they are making smart financial decisions for their next purchase, especially by helping them understand running costs in more detail.’