Consumers looking to buy a 69-plate electric vehicle (EV) in September could be scuppered by a shortage of vehicles entering the market – leading to greater demand for used EVs.
The National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA) found in the results of its latest market attitude survey that 30% of remarketers expected the average price of a used battery electric vehicle to rise during the key number plate-change month.
The same proportion of NAMA members said that they also expected diesel values to increase as – even taking into account the larger volume of part-exchange vehicles entering the market – demand for used cars remained strong.
Around 75% of respondents predict petrol values will remain similar to the previous month and only around 5% expecting a decline.
“More than 80% of NAMA members are expecting vehicle volumes to increase or remain steady in September,” said head of NAMA, Louise Wallis.
“The increase will be promoted by the number plate change with both dealer part-exchanges and leasing company de-fleets arriving at remarketing centres.
But, similar to its findings in August, NAMA survey respondents expect conversion rates to increase, suggesting that demand for vehicles will continue to increase during the month, even as the supply of cars grows.
NAMA said that the predicted increase in used EV values during September is expected to be driven by “shortage of supply of new vehicles pushing buyers into the used market”.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) monthly report on new car registrations showed that Tesla was one EV manufacturer which drove hard to meet demand from UK customers during August.
The Californian brand’s new Model 3 saloon – which begun UK deliveries in June – was the market’s third best-selling car in the UK last month as it found more owners than the Ford Focus, Mercedes A-Class and Ford Kuga.
In total, zero emission cars posted the fastest growth of any fuel type in August, according to the SMMT, with registrations up 377.5%, to 3,147 units as new models and some pent up demand boosted registrations.
Taking to Twitter this morning Tom Callow, director of communication and strategy at BP Chargemaster, disputed the SMMT’s assertion that OEMs “can’t dictate the uptake of EVs. He said: “That’s exactly what they can do right now. Manufacturer supply is the only factor constraining the market from its true potential this year.”
Wallis said in NAMA’s statement from today that the used car sector would remain competitive as demand for all fuel types remained high at remarketing centres across the UK.
She said: “September is likely to see vehicle volumes at remarketing centres increase due to the plate change. However, it is expected that there will be demand for this additional supply, which is also likely to increase conversion rates and values particularly for well presented desirable stock for dealer forecourts.
"There is expected to be an increased demand for electric and hybrid vehicles over the coming months, although petrol and diesel cars will remain popular as well.”