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Used car market stability continues in March, reports eBay Motors Group

  • Advertised prices dip 1.1% MoM to £17,636, but remain up 19.5% YoY
  • Stock volumes up 1% MoM to 46.2 units
  • Days to sell remain on a par with February at 43.4 days

March's used car market showed further signs of stability with minimal monthly fluctuations in advertised prices, stock volumes and days to sell, according to the latest eBay Motors Group Market View.

The slight downward movement of prices continued for the second consecutive month with the average dipping 1.1% month-on-month to £17,636, a drop of £189.

The biggest average shortfalls were felt by supermarkets, down 1.7% (£306), followed by franchised dealers, down 1.2% (£257). While independents saw a marginal 0.1% increase, equating to £19.

Month-on-month average stock volumes increased marginally from 45.6 to 46.2 units, with the rise mostly driven by car supermarkets where average stock levels increased by 14 vehicles to 322, marking a recovery after February's 13% drop. Independents saw stocks increase by one unit to 35, while franchised dealers saw a drop of one unit to 57.

Demand remained steady in March with days to sell just 0.2% lower than February at 43.4 days. However, supermarkets, despite increased stock and price drops, saw cars average 3.1 days longer in stock than in February at 32 days. Franchised dealers remained unchanged month-on-month at 42 days and independents saw a slight improvement from 49.1 to 48.2 days.

"A stable used car market was a welcome trend for dealers in March, especially against a backdrop of a 14.3% drop in new car registrations during the all-important plate change month1," said Dermot Kelleher, head of marketing and research at eBay Motors Group.

"The ongoing supply disruption caused by the global semiconductor shortage will continue to prompt in-market new car buyers to look at used alternatives.

"Although the dip in advertised prices was the biggest so far this year, prices remain incredibly strong, tracking at 19.5% ahead of where they were 12 months ago which should feed into some strong first quarter performances for many dealers.

"However, the challenge for the market over the coming weeks and months will be the impact of the cost of living squeeze and international events on consumer confidence. Our advice to retailers is to maintain the online visibility of their stock at all times and closely track pricing trends in their local areas and nationally," he said.

The fastest selling used car in March was the Volkswagen Golf with diesel models aged six to eight years averaging just 19.7 days on forecourts. Elsewhere the top 10 was dominated by Ford models with six to eight year old Fiestas in second place (20.9 days) and five to six year old Fiestas in third place (21.1 days).

The fastest selling fuel type was electric (39 days), followed by hybrid (40.5 days), diesel (42.7 days) and petrol 44.2 days. However electric cars continue to make up a small percentage of the overall market accounting for just 1.1% of listings and 1% of ad views

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

Data source: 1 Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 5 April 2022, March New Car Registrations