Thursday 30th June 2022, London – Highlighting the impact the current surge in fuel prices is having on consumer buying behaviour, Auto Trader’s market data shows used electric cars are flying off UK forecourts. Not only are they currently the fastest fuel type to sell, taking an average of just 27 days, compared to 33 and 35 days for used petrol and diesel cars respectively, but of the top 10 fastest selling used cars this month, 70% are fully electric. In fact, the top seven are EVs, with the MINI Electric, Tesla Model 3, MG MG5 and the Hyundai IONIQ 5 all sharing June’s top spot, each taking an average of just 24 days to sell, ahead of the current national average of 31 days.
Just three traditionally fuelled cars made it onto the list, but in a stark contrast with this time last year, none are diesel powered. In June 2021, seven of the top ten were diesel, two were petrol, and one was a petrol hybrid – not one pure EV made it onto the list. In fact, the highest ranked EV in June 2021, was a Kia Niro, which came in at number 86. The findings are consistent with wider trends on the Auto Trader marketplace: based on the volume of advert views and searches, last week saw demand for EVs increase 65% on the same period last year, versus a -22% and -29% decline for petrol and diesel respectively.
According to Auto Trader’s data, the volume of nearly new cars (those less than 12 months old) in the market has fallen -53% in June versus this time last year, which is the lowest of any other age cohort, and by some margin. As a result, all but two of the current top 10 falls within this age group, which are being eagerly snapped up by desperate would be new buyers.
Commenting on June’s data, Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s Director of Data and Insights, said: “The data highlights just how fast the electric market has moved on since last year. Fuelled by greater choice, better range, and more awareness, electric vehicles are now very much in the public consciousness. And with no end in sight of the rocketing fuel prices, for those that can afford the ‘green premium’, making the switch has never been more appealing, especially as we calculate the average EV driver can save around £176 per 1,000 miles using a home charger. Clearly there is a real growing opportunity here for retailers in not just the new car market, but the used too.”
Regional fastest sellers
Looking at the data on a more granular basis, of the 12 UK regions and countries tracked, used cars are, on average, selling the fastest in the Midlands. Using exactly the same car as a benchmark, a Volkswagen Golf (petrol, manual) is selling the fastest in the East Midlands and the West Midlands, taking an average of 49 days to sell respectively. They’re followed by the South West, Scotland and London, where the same car took 50 days to leave retailers’ forecourts. Conversely, it’s in Wales where used cars are, on average, spending the longest time on forecourts, with the Golf lingering for a comparatively lengthy 55 days.
There are some notable trends. Of the 12 countries and regions, EVs topped the list in five: East Midlands (Tesla Model 3, 24 days), West Midlands (MG MG5, 24), East of England (MINI Electric, 24), London (Tesla Model 3, 23), and the North West (Kia Niro, 24). However, EVs aren’t being snapped up everywhere. In fact, in four regions or countries, EVs didn’t make the top ten at all, including Scotland (Vauxhall Corsa, petrol, 20), North East (Fiat 500, petrol, 24), Northern Ireland (SEAT Ibiza, petrol, 31), and Wales (Mercedes-Benz, GLA Class, 31).
Richard continued: “As we’ve seen there are significant differences across the UK, influenced by unique supply and demand dynamics, so when it comes to your forecourt strategy, there isn’t a one size fits all approach. Using data to understand your market is essential, to ensure you’re stocking the right car at the right price and, as a result, securing the best margin possible.”