April sees rise in used car prices after months of decline

By automotive-mag.com 4 Min Read

The average price of a used car increased in April for the first time this year, following a succession of monthly dips, according to the latest MOTORS Market View.

Prices averaged £16,964, a month-on-month rise of 1% (or £146), but down 9% year-on-year from £18,564. Despite this downward movement, average prices are still up 8% versus pre-pandemic levels.

The increase was led by franchised dealers and car supermarkets, both seeing rises of 1% to £24,640 and £16,425 respectively. While the average price from independent dealers dipped 1.5% to £12,885.

Increases by fuel type were led by electric cars (up 2.5% to £25,905), followed by petrol (up 2% to £16,670) and diesel (up 1% to £15,274). Hybrids dropped 2.5% to £27,765. However, average prices for all fuel types were down YoY.

Dealer stock levels increased MoM from 45 to 47 units, putting them on a par with April 2023.

Franchised dealers benefitted from an influx of part-exchanges following the debut of the new 24-plate with inventories growing MoM from 51 to 55 units. Car supermarkets also increased from 207 to 211 units, while independents remained unchanged at 37 units.

With greater volumes of de-fleeted EVs now entering the used car sector, the proportion of fully electric models listed by dealers on MOTORS in April increased 5% MoM and 14% YoY. EVs made up 5% of all dealer stock but just 1% of ad views.

Alternatively fuelled vehicles, EVs and hybrids, accounted for 12.4% of dealer stock, the highest level recorded to date.

“Average used car prices have been steadily falling since hitting their post-pandemic peak of £18,927 in January 2023. We’re tracking the market closely to see if April’s rise is an early sign that those monthly declines are halting and whether the market is heading for a period of greater price stability,” said Lucy Tugby, Marketing Director of MOTORS.

“The cumulative effect of those monthly drops means the average price is now £1,600 below where it was this time last year, so this small rise can be viewed as a correction. Though it is worth noting this is still £1,282 higher than pre-pandemic in February 2020.

“Price drops have certainly opened pockets of opportunity for dealers, as desirable makes and models become more affordable for buyers. In April the Volkswagen Golf overtook the Vauxhall Corsa to become the second best-selling model on MOTORS behind the Ford Fiesta, with the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A Class also performing strongly.

“Dealers who stay on top of data and trends will be able to benefit from the opportunities that inevitably arise in the market,” said Tugby.

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