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EV demand is pushing used prices ‘out of reach’, says Auto Trader

Renault Zoe EV

Car buyers searching for a used electric vehicles (EVs) are being "pushed out" of the market by prices after average values rose by 11% to £23,361 during April, Auto Trader’s Retail Price Index has revealed.

The online marketing specialist saw growth in the price of alternative vehicles dramatically outstrip that of conventionally-powered vehicles last month, with petrol and diesel prices rising just 1.5% - their lowest rate for two years – while AFVs rose by an average of 4.7% to £21,560.

Pure electric vehicles are where the most dramatic growth was seen.

Auto Trader’s Director of Commercial Products, Karolina Edwards-Smajda, said that this leaves the sector in “a Catch-22 situation”, however.

“The growing appetite of AFVs offer the industry a great opportunity for growth, but for mass adoption, the average price needs to be more accessible to more people,” she said.

The surging prices of low-emission vehicles can be attributed to supply and demand. On Auto Trader, the UK’s largest automotive digital marketplace, AFVs currently account for just 1% of stock listed, whilst petrol and diesel account for 52% and 47% respectively.

Edwards-Smajda said: “With so few vehicles in the market, even second-hand cars are being pushed out of financial reach for most consumers.”   

Auto Trader said that the slowing value growth of used petrol and diesel vehicles had been felt most keenly by second-hand diesels with growth now slowing to just 1.3%.

Average diesel sticker-prices have fallen to £14,306; the lowest since August 2017. 

Petrol is faring better, albeit marginally. Growth has slowed from 2.4% in March, to just 1.6% last month, the lowest rate since October 2016.

The average sticker price of a petrol is £11,200, gaining on last month’s £11,186.

The numbers of people searching for diesels continues to decline, with just 41% of all fuel related searches on Auto Trader for the fuel type. Petrol is gaining the share lost by diesel, accounting for 52% of all fuel related searches. Searches for AFVs remains flat at 7%.

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