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Price rises left used EVs ‘unsold on dealer forecourts’ in 2020

Indicata group sales director Jon Mitchell

Used electric vehicles (EV) appear to have fallen out of favour with car buyers struggling to justify their cost in comparison to petrol and diesel alternatives, according to Autorola.

In its latest market overview Autorola blamed ongoing price increases among used EVs for leaving “cars left unsold on dealer forecourts” last year.

In 2020, EV values online rose by 24.8% (£3,975) to £19,978 at 24 months and 14,328 miles, it reported.

By comparison, used petrol car prices rose by an average of 2.9% (£303), from £10,403 in 2019 to £10,706 in 2020, based on an average age and mileage of 32 months and 19,336 miles.

Autorola said in a statement issued today (January 11) that the disparity in volumes reinforced suggestions that the noise about zero emission motoring is still not transferring to the used market where volumes and sales are still relatively small.

“We are definitely seeing a rise in demand for electric cars in the used market, but prices are still trying to find their level,” Jon Mitchell, Autorola UK’s group sales director added.

“Not surprisingly it will take a while until we start to see higher volumes reaching auction and, in the meantime, the EV prices in the used value guides should be used sparingly as every single car we sell seems to be worth a different amount to individual buyers.”

At an average age and mileage of 35 months and 25,404 miles, hybrid vehicles delivered a 1.4% (£176) average decline in values in the UK’s used car sector last year, compared to an 8.5% (£1,088) increase in the average value of a diesel car advertised online.

Nearly four-in-10 (37.4%) of used cars sold online for dealers and fleet vendors via Autorola had a diesel engine last year, with just 2.9% hybrid, while the number of EVs sold online was even smaller at 0.8%.

Used petrol car prices rose by an average of 2.9% (£303), from £10,403 in 2019 to £10,706 in 2020, based on an average age and mileage of 32 months and 19,336 miles.

Petrol cars accounted for 58.9% of Autorola sales in the year.

Mitchell said: “Diesel demand and prices for dealer part-exchanges and ex-fleet stock have both been strong during 2020 and there are no signs of it falling which is good news for the trade and consumers alike.”

Back in November Mitchell advised used car retailers to reprice and sell overage stock “immediately” in a bid to get on the front foot ahead of an anticipated easing of COVID-19 trading restrictions in the New Year.

Speaking at the time, he said: “Any 90-120-day stock should be immediately repriced and sold to tidy up stock portfolios ready for a potential fast start in January.

“The supply shortage has contributed to higher prices at a time when traditionally the used car market is slowing down. As supply improves, we are starting to see that trend reverse with prices softening.

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