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Used car stocks drop to their lowest level this year but prices still fall, according to eBay Motors Group

  • Average stock volumes down 41 per cent against June 2019
  • Time to sell improves to an average of 36.5 days
  • Advertised prices across all dealers dropped by one per cent to £12,024
  • Skoda Yeti Outdoor is the fastest-selling used car

Time 3 months ago

Average used car stocks fell for the sixth consecutive month this year to a new low of 39.9 units, eBay Motors Group said today (Jul 7).

The figure was down from 42.3 units in May and 40.8 per cent below June 2019’s pre-pandemic average of 67.5 units in, according to the group’s latest Market View analysis.

Car supermarkets were the hardest hit, seeing their stock levels tumble by 47 per cent to just 263 units on average, versus 499 in June 2019 – a drop of 4.3 per cent from 275 units in May.


Independents’ stocks dropped by 36 per cent from 47.5 units in June 2019 to 30.5, while franchised sites suffered a 27 per cent fall from 67.8 to 49.7.

However, despite the low supply and continued consumer demand, average prices for the top 50 makes and models on Motors.co.uk dropped by one per cent from £12,149 to £12,024.

That followed May’s 1.9 per cent drop, making it the lowest average list price for the first half of 2021 and a 5.7 per cent drop since April’s peak of £12,753.

June’s price drop was led by supermarkets – down 1.9 per cent to £12,570 – followed by independents, which were down 1.4 per cent to £8,890. While franchised dealers saw a 0.9 per cent increase to £14,216.


The fastest-selling used car in June was the Skoda Yeti Outdoor, averaging just 19.4 days to sell. Next was the Kia Sorento at 22.3 days, followed by the Land Rover Discovery (23.1 days).

Dermot Kelleher, head of marketing and research at eBay Motors Group, said: ‘The widely reported impact of the wholesale shortage of used cars is being felt by dealers across all sectors, with retailers struggling to restock to meet continued consumer demand.

Skoda Yeti Outdoor Sep 2013

Skoda Yeti Outdoor

‘Another monthly drop in average list prices is unwelcome news for dealers, especially at a time when book prices continue to rise month on month, although this could be the consequence of retailers being forced to replace sold stock with older inventory.

‘Dealers will need to hold firm on advertised prices over the coming weeks or face the prospect of buying high and selling low.’

Dealers sold cars faster in June than at any point this year, averaging just 36.5 days in stock. Car supermarkets achieved the fastest sales, averaging 27.5 days, while independents were the longest at 46.7 days.

The fastest-selling cars were found at the higher end of the price spectrum, with cars price-tagged between £15,000 and £40,000 averaging just 34 days to sell – four days faster than June 2019’s average.

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‘With travel restrictions still in place, limiting the opportunity for early summer holidays, some buyers in June chose instead to cash in unplanned savings on desirable off-roaders and sports cars, which was welcome news for dealers able to source them,’ said Kelleher.

Dealers in Northern Ireland sold cars quicker than anywhere else in the UK, averaging 28 days, and the south-west of England was the slowest, averaging 50 days.

Diesel-engined cars were the fastest sellers by fuel type, averaging 34.8 days to sell, versus petrol at 37.3 days.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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