Used cars are selling faster than at any point in the whole of last year as the used car scramble at dealerships continues.
Record demand is seeing cars fly off forecourts in under 40 days for the first time this year and now in line with the time scales seen back in 2019.
Used car dealers are selling cars in 39.3 days on average, reports eBay Motors Group.
But while cars are selling faster, dealers are struggling to replenish them with average stock levels at dealerships up and down the country dropping in May to just 42 units compared to 46 in April.
The advertising group says the extent of the stock shortage is clear when you look back to May 2019 when dealers had an average of 67 used cars in stock.
Despite the stock shortages and the widely reported rising used car prices in the wholesale market, prices on forecourts actually dropped in May.
Cap HPI exclusively revealed to Car Dealer that used car prices in the trade had risen 6.5 per cent in May, following a 2 per cent jump in April. These sorts of rises have never been seen before.
But they are yet to translate to retail pricing as dealers have been slow to put up prices to match the surge in wholesale costs.
Across the top 50 makes and models advertised on Motors.co.uk prices fell by 1.9 per cent to £12,356.
This was the first time prices have fallen this year – they were up 4.3 per cent on average in April.
Franchised dealers were the ones pushing prices down where they fell 1.4 per cent, car supermarkets dropped them by 0.9 per cent, while independent dealers bucked the trend putting their price up 1.7 per cent.
Dermot Kelleher, head of marketing and research at eBay Motors Group, said: ‘This shows the impact of the diminishing volume of used cars being wholesaled, with dealers selling cars faster than before but from depleted inventories.
‘The 1.9 per cent drop in the advertised prices of the Top 50 makes and models, will see some dealers face the prospect of trading on tighter margins.
‘We believe franchised dealers retaining more part-exchanges for retail, in the absence of higher priced nearly-new cars, could also be a contributing factor.
‘However, with buyer demand still high, as demonstrated by increased leads, and stocks low, dealers are in a position to hold firm on their advertised prices to achieve better returns.’
Diesel cars sold faster, averaging 37 days, compared to 40 days for petrol and still a long way ahead of hybrids (47 days) and EVs (54 days).
In the exclusive update for Car Dealer, eBay Motors Group also revealed its Top 10 fastest selling cars in May, the details of which are below.
Fastest selling cars in May
1 Vauxhall Mokka – 23 days
2 Jeep Compass – 23.8 days
3 Mercedes-Benz GLC – 24.6 days
4 Dacia Sandero Stepway – 24.9 days
5 Mercedes-Benz GLA Class – 25.4 days
6 Kia Sorento – 25.5 days
7 Volkswagen Touareg – 25.9 days
8 Mazda MX-5 – 26 days
9 Land Rover Discovery – 26.5 days
10 Range Rover Evoque – 27.2 days