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Average used car retail prices rise 3% as stock levels begin to stabilise

  • Average used car prices rise 3% to £12,525 with significantly stronger price increases seen on selected vehicles less than three years old
  • Stock levels rise to 40.2 units, from 39.9 but independents continue to see decline 
  • Fastest selling cars priced £15,000 to £40,000, averaging 34 days to sell

10 August 2021 Average used car retail prices rose in July as dealers traded with stock levels tracking significantly below their pre-Covid levels, according to the latest Market View from eBay Motors Group.

Month-on-month stock levels only improved marginally to 40.2 units, from the 39.9 low point recorded in June, while average time to sell increased by two full days to 38.5 days. Stock levels grew in franchise and supermarket, with independents seeing continued challenges.

Average advertised prices increased 3% month-on-month from £12,174 to £12,525. The biggest increases were recorded by supermarkets, up 6% from £12,544 to £13,296, followed by franchised dealers up 4% from £14,336 to £14,943.

However, prices dropped 2% in the independent sector from £9,124 to £8,958.

"We're seeing the impact of the widely reported monthly rises in wholesale values playing out in the retail sector with dealers adjusting prices upwards to maintain margin, as supply continues to fall short of demand," said Dermot Kelleher, head of marketing and research at eBay Motors Group.

While franchised dealers and supermarkets saw small but welcome increases in their stock levels, independents dropped to 29.8 units, down 37% on the pre-Covid average of 47.5 units in July 2019.

"Independent retailers are feeling the effect of the shortage of nearly new stock, forcing them to replace sold vehicles with older inventory at lower prices," he said.

Those dealers able to source good quality desirable used stock saw some significant month-on-month increases in price.

One of the best performing cars on Motors.co.uk was the BMW 3 Series where three year-old/30,000 mile examples were being listed for an average price of £25,603, up 8% month-on-month and 16% higher than July 2020.

The fastest selling cars in the month were priced from £15,000 to £40,000, averaging just 34 days to sell.

"With the semiconductor shortage seriously impacting new car supply, it appears buyers are switching to used and maxing out their budgets to buy the best possible vehicles. Even cars priced £40,000 to £60,000 are averaging just 38 days to sell, compared to 47 days in July 2019," said Kelleher.

Family SUVs continued to dominate the top 10 fastest selling makes and models on Motors.co.uk with the Ford Edge averaging just 18.7 days to sell, followed by the Kia Sorento (21.8 days) and Skoda Yeti Outdoor (21.9 days).

The Kia Niro range of EVs and hybrids was also among the top five fastest sellers, averaging just 24.1 days on dealer forecourts.

Data source: Motors.co.uk data, eBay Motors Group Data Warehouse, July 2021 vs. June 2021 and July 2019.