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eBay Motors Group reports stability in April as prices dip 1.5% but dealers' stock and days to sell improve marginally

  • Average advertised prices down £259 to £17,290 MoM, but still up 19% YoY
  • Dealer inventories up MoM from 46.2 to 47.7 units
  • Days to sell improve MoM from 41.4 to 40.3 days

9 May 2022 The used car market showed signs of stability in April with a small dip in prices but marginal improvements in stock levels and days to sell, according to the latest Market View from eBay Motors Group.

Average prices were down 1.5% (£259) to £17,290 following a -1.1% drop in March, marking the third consecutive monthly drop. However the strength of used car pricing continues to be demonstrated by year-on-year comparisons with prices tracking at 19.1% higher than April 2021.

Once again the biggest monthly price drops were recorded by car supermarkets, down -3% (£538) to £17,461, following -1.7% drops in both March and February.

Franchised dealers saw prices drop 2.5% (£516) to £20,411, following a -1.2% drop in March. While independents saw a marginal -0.4% drop, equating to just £54, to £14,825, following a 0.1% rise in March.

Despite the ongoing stocking challenges facing dealers, inventories increased marginally in April from 46.2 to 47.7 units, on a par with April 2021 (47.2 units), when non-essential retailing lockdown restrictions were lifted mid-month.

In further signs of welcome stability, days to sell also remained consistent with dealers averaging 40.3 days, compared to 41.4 days in March 2021, and just over three days faster than April 2021.

Car supermarkets enjoyed the fastest sales at 30.7 days, followed by franchised dealers at 36.8 days, while independents took the longest at 47.3 days, up from 46.3 in March.

Petrol continues to be the most popular fuel choice, accounting for over half of all ad views (53.7%) and listings (52.3%), followed by diesel with 42.6% of ad views and 43.4% of listings.

Despite alternatively fuelled vehicles still accounting for low volumes of ad views and listings, both sold considerably faster than combustion engine cars. Hybrid vehicles took 2.8% of ad views and 3.2% of listings, while electric accounted for just 1% of ad views and 1.1% of listings, but in terms of days to sell, electric vehicles averaged just 33.6 days and hybrid 35.4 days, compared to diesels at 39.7 days and petrol at 41.2 days.

"Despite the Easter holidays and the significant rise in energy costs, April showed signs of continued stability for the used car market with year-on-year and month-on-month improvements in stock levels and days to sell," said Dermot Kelleher, head of marketing and research at eBay Motors Group.

"The 1.5% drop in average advertised prices is in line with the dips we've already seen this year and trends in the wholesale arena. However, it's worth emphasising that prices are still tracking at 19% above where they were this time last year - an average sticker price difference of £2,778.

"This pricing adjustment is an inevitable outcome of the successive rises we saw during the second half of 2021 and emphasises the need for dealers to remain agile in how they price every model on their physical and digital forecourts.

"With the cost of living crisis set to impact the choices made by some used car buyers, this pricing agility will prove invaluable over the coming weeks and months, as well as thinking about ways to reassure buyers they are making smart financial decisions for their next purchase, especially by helping them understand running costs in more detail," said Kelleher.

You can download the April 2022 eBay Motors Group Market View report here. here

Data source: Motors.co.uk data, eBay Motors Group Data Warehouse, April 2022 vs March 2022 vs April 2021.