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Dealers hold firm on used car pricing in November as average prices continue to grow despite seasonal slowdown, reports eBay Motors Group

  • Average price for top 50 makes and models on Motors.co.uk rises £729
  • Days to sell up 12.6% to 36.8 days, stock levels drop 6% to 43 units
  • Average price of Ford Fiesta up 39.4% to £19,137 in six months

The average advertised price of used cars hit a new high for the year in November, though dealers began to feel the seasonal slowdown as they saw stock levels drop and days to sell increase, according to the latest Market View from eBay Motors Group.

Average prices for the top 50 makes and models on Motors.co.uk increased by 4.7%, or £729, from October to £16,392.

The biggest monthly increase in prices was in the independent sector where the average jumped 9.2% from £10,724 to £11,715. Car supermarkets were up 2.7% to £18,176 and franchised dealers were up 2.3% to £19,541.

This latest increase saw further significant rises in the advertised prices of some of the UK's most popular used cars on Motors.co.uk. One of the standout performers was the Ford Fiesta, with three years/30,000 miles examples averaging £19,137 - up 39.4% in the last six months.

Against the backdrop of the used vehicle supply shortage, November stock levels dropped month-on-month by three units to 43 vehicles, the lowest average so far recorded this year.

Average days to sell increased by just over four days month-on-month to 36.8 days. These increases were most acutely felt by franchised dealers (up 22.1% to 33.2 days) and car supermarkets (up 13.8% to 25.4 days). While independents experienced a more marginal increase of 3.3% to 44.7 days.

The fastest selling used car in November was the Vauxhall Corsa, with nearly-new examples averaging only 11.1 days on dealer forecourts.

"Having paid high prices to source cars, dealers acted strategically and held firm on their pricing in November even as the winter slowdown began. This prompted some strong price performances, even on mainstream cars, which will provide a welcome boost to fourth quarter profitability," said Dermot Kelleher, head of marketing and research at eBay Motors Group.

"The strength of pricing is best illustrated by the speed of sale achieved by some of the more expensive price bands, with vehicles costing £20,000 to £40,000 selling the fastest, averaging 30 days in stock, and those priced over £40,000 averaging just 33.6 days. Proof that customers were prepared to pay top dollar to buy the best possible used car, especially those no longer prepared to wait for new car delivery times to improve."

"November proved to be a positive month for the independent sector, with dealers seeing the biggest improvement in advertised prices, while days to sell remained on a par with October," he said.

"With the market now entering a traditionally quieter period of seasonality, all dealer sectors will be working hard over the coming weeks to source what stock is available in time for the traditional Boxing Day bounce in online searches for used cars," said Kelleher.

Hybrid was the fastest selling fuel type in November, averaging 34.5 days to sell, followed by diesel (36 days), electric (37.7 days) and petrol (38.5 days).

Internal combustion engine cars continued to dominate stock listings, with petrol accounting for 53.3%, diesel 43.5%, hybrid 2.4% and electric 0.8%. Similar averages were also seen in the number of ad views: petrol (52.6%), diesel (44.2%), hybrid (2.2%) and electric (0.9%).

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Data source: Motors.co.uk data, eBay Motors Group Data Warehouse, November 2021 vs October 2021 vs November 2020.