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Price and stock level dips continue through June as cost of living concerns dampen used car demand

  • Average used car price down 1.4% in June to £16,627, but still up 20.3% YoY
  • Stock levels drop 2.4%, although 9% increase YoY
  • Days to sell increase month-on-month from 36.7 to 39.5 with demand impacted by cost of living concerns

7 July 2022 - The used car market has begun to feel the impact of cost of living concerns from consumers with softening demand and prices. Average used car prices and dealer stock levels both dipped in June as days to sell increased, according to eBay Motors Group's Market View.

The average advertised used car price dropped 1.4% from £16,872 to £16,627, the fifth consecutive monthly fall, although it was 20.3% ahead of June 2021. The drop was led by the independent dealer sector where prices were down 1.5% to £14,496; while the average across franchised sites was down 0.6% to £19,872 and car supermarkets down just 0.5% to £16,802.

In line with the sector wide shortage of used cars, stock levels dropped for the second successive month, down 2.4% from 46.1 to 45 units, although the average was still 9% ahead of June 2021's 41.3 units.

Car supermarkets bore the brunt of the shortage with inventories down 3.1% from 293 to 284, while franchised dealers were down 5.4% from 56 to 53. Independents remained unchanged at 36 units.

Average days to sell increased by nearly three full days from 36.7 to 39.5 days. The rise was led by franchised dealers up 14% from 31.2 to 35.6 days, followed by independents up 3% from 45.3 to 46.5 days, while car supermarkets remained steady at 28.5 days, compared to 28.1 in May.

"June's average £245 drop in advertised prices represents further evidence of them heading back to more normal levels as consumer demand eases," said Lucy Tugby, head of marketing at eBay Motors Group.

"We are seeing the impact that rising household costs is having on prospective buyers, supporting our recent Consumer Insight Panel research* which found one in five car purchases are being delayed because of the cost of living crisis. Reduced demand meant dealers took longer to sell cars from smaller inventories in June.

"However, the average price of a used car is still tracking at over 20% higher than last June, a difference of £2,804, so dealers holding firm on transaction prices are continuing to maximise on the opportunities available."

eBay Motor Group's year to date analysis shows how advertised prices averaged £16,930 in Q2, a drop of 4.7% on Q1 (£17,768) but still 22.1% ahead of Q2 2021 (£13,868). Prices for the first half of the year averaged £17,356, 20.8% higher than the first six months of 2021. Stock levels in Q2 averaged 46 units, the same as Q1, but 5% higher than Q2 2021 (43.8 units). For the first six months of this year stock levels averaged 46 units, compared to 47.5 in the same period in 2021.

"Although the first half of the year saw a general stabilisation in prices and days to sell, we recommend that dealers pay close attention to consumer needs as demand alters with the cost of living impact. By remaining sharp on stock type, pricing and online visibility, savvy dealers will be able to roll with the incoming waves," said Tugby.

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

eBay Motors Group data Data source: Motors.co.uk data, eBay Motors Group Data Warehouse, June 2022 vs May 2022 vs YoY June 2021. Source: * eBay Motors Group, press release, 22 May 2022, Cost of living crisis set to impact majority of car purchases, with one in five being delayed https://www.ebaymotorsgroup.co.uk/news/cost-of-living-crisis-set-to-impact-majority-of-car-purchases-with-one-in-five-being-delayed