Used car values rose by an average of 2% on eBay Motors Group’s online marketplace as the balance of consumer demand and limited supply continued to defy the UK’s economic gloom.
The average value of a used car advertised via the online marketing platform rose for a third successive month to £17,154 during October – a rise of 0.5% year-on-year – with marketing director Lucy Tugby suggesting that values were being driven by customers “purchasing out of necessity” during the cost-of-living crisis.
Fiat’s 500 hybrid was the fastest-selling car on the platform last month, averaging just 9.3 days in stock, followed by the Peugeot 3008 petrol (12.3 days) and Tesla Model 3 electric (12.4 days).
And eBay Motors said that the rise in values had been driven largely by vehicles under five years old, prompting increases across all three main car retailing sectors.
Franchised dealers’ average advertised car value was up 2.5% versus September to £21,624, while car supermarkets increased their values by 2.1% to £18,302 and independents by just 0.5% to £13,830.
Commenting on the resurgent retail values Tugby said: “Despite the economic and political uncertainty that dominated news headlines throughout October, used car buyers remained active in the market, suggesting those purchasing were doing so out of necessity.
“This resulted in another month of strong prices for dealers, with only marginal drops in inventory levels, despite the ongoing shortage of stock.”
Stock in decline post-September
The used car market data from eBay Motors comes just days after Cap HPI revealed that used car values had dropped just 0.5% at three years and 60,000 miles during October. This made it the month’s strongest for 14 years.
According to eBay Motors’ data car retailers’ average stock levels remained stable during October at 48.5 units, compared to 49.2 the previous month – a dip of 1.4%.
Franchised and independent sites were both down by just one unit month-on-month to 72 and 35 respectively, while supermarkets averaged seven fewer cars at 286 units.
However, year-on-year comparisons were more pronounced for car supermarkets (down 19%) and franchised dealers (down 17%), while independent retailers bucked the trend with a 6% increase.
Average days to sell was unchanged month-on-month at 39 days, eBay Motors reported, remaining on a par with averages since June but almost six days longer than October 2021.
The fastest sales were achieved by car supermarkets (28 days), followed by franchised dealers (31 days) while independents saw a small increase from 50 to 51 days.
Pragmatic approach to EVs
Analysis of the stock mix across Motors.co.uk shows sharp falls in diesel (down 13%) and petrol (down 8%) and strong gains in electric vehicles (up 92%) and hybrids (+20%).
Petrol and diesel still accounted for 95% of listings and 97% of advert views, however.
Last month, data from Indicata suggested consumers’ interest in used EVs may be waning as a result of the rising cost-of-living.
“Our Market View continues to track rising interest in electric and hybrid models across Motors.co.uk with increases in listings and ad views and more models entering the Top 10 fastest sellers’ rankings,” said Tugby.
“However, we know from our analysis of dealer leads that petrol and diesel account for over 90% of enquiries and, with the cost-of-living crisis influencing the car buying decision making process, we expect this to remain the trend for some time.
“The challenge for dealers, more so than ever before, is to keep an open mind when it comes to stocking EVs and closely monitor the level of enquiries they receive for them, especially as the rising cost of charging will be a barrier for some of their customers.”