Sales of used electric vehicles (EVs) slowed in May as stock volumes dropped, with franchised dealers feeling the squeeze, according to the latest eBay Motors Group Market View.
Average days in stock for EVs increased year-on-year by 18 days to 51, making them the slowest sellers by fuel type.
Last May EVs were the fastest sellers, averaging just 33 days to sell.
EV stock levels on Motors.co.uk were down by 10% month-on-month, in stark contrast to petrol which grew by 2%, while diesel remained unchanged and hybrids dipped 1%.
Looking at wider trends, the Market View shows a month-on-month drop in inventory levels across the franchised, independent and car supermarket sectors from 54 to 51 units, although the 5% drop resulted in faster sales with cars averaging just 36 days on forecourts, compared to 39 days in April.
The part-exchange boost to franchised dealer inventories in April proved to be short lived with stocks dropping month-on-month from 78 to 70 units (-11%). Car supermarkets also stocked fewer vehicles, dropping 3% to 271. While independents, at 35 units, remained consistent with monthly averages since January,
Prices for the month remained stable at £18,473, down just £52 (-0.3%), but up 10% year-on-year.
Lucy Tugby, marketing director of eBay Motors Group, said: “May was a frustrating month for many car retailers because buyer demand was there, as witnessed by cars selling quickly, but stock levels remained constrained, falling to their lowest level since October 2022.
“With stock volumes traditionally declining as we enter the summer, we anticipate this trend to continue over the coming months.
“What is also concerning is the fall in EV stock levels at a time when availability should be improving on the back of growing new vehicle sales.
"We believe some dealers are reticent about stocking EVs, understandably preferring to wait for the pricing volatility to settle, rather than risk taking a financial hit.
"As a result, 10% fewer EVs were available to buyers in May, compared to April, at a time when the market should be experiencing consistent month-on-month improvements."
Tugby added that franchised dealers that are taking in EV part-exchanges and with manufacturer targets to hit, would have felt the squeeze in May.
She said: "Unfortunately, this is likely to continue until prices become more palatable for wholesale and retail buyers."
The fastest selling used car in May was the petrol Vauxhall Corsa, with sub two-year-old petrol models, with mileages under 5,000 miles, averaging just 14 days to sell.