Essential purchases in high demand as buyers focus on older affordable cars, reports MOTORS’ Market View

Advertised used car prices and dealer stock levels dipped in June as buyers focused their attention on older essential purchase cars, according to MOTORS’ Market View for June.

The average price of used cars dropped £222 (-1.3%) month-on-month (MoM) from £17,390 to £17,168, equating to a year-on-year (YoY) drop of -7.3% (£1,343). The fall was mostly driven by franchised dealers who saw prices slide -4% (£970) from £24,067 to £23,097.

Prices for the first half of the year have dropped 1.8% from £17,475 in January.

Older and younger profile cars saw the biggest price drops for the month. Vehicles aged over 10 years fell 2.3% (or £165) from £7,060 to £6,895, a YoY drop of 3.1%. While cars under two years dropped -1.4% (£444) from £31,134 to £30,690, down -4.2% YoY. The fall in prices for cars aged two to five years steadied, dipping just -0.5% (£104) MoM to £19,296, although this was the age band with the highest YoY fall at -9%.

Dealer stock levels dropped from 54 to 51 units MoM and down from 55 units 12 months ago. Franchised dealers experienced the biggest drops down from 63 to 56 units (-11%), compared to 65 units last June (-14%). Independent dealers remained steady at 39 units, just one unit down MoM.

Meanwhile, car supermarkets saw stock levels grow for the third consecutive month, rising from 245 to 254 units, although tracking at -16% below the historically high volumes from 12 months ago. 

Overall, stock levels for the first half of the year have been relatively stable having started in January at 54 units.

Buyers researching their next purchase online were mostly focused on older, medium size models priced up to £10,000. And in terms of fuel choice, petrol still leads the way accounting for half of all ad views, followed by diesel (44%), hybrid (5%) and electric (2%).

“With only small downward movements of prices and stock levels in June, we are seeing further signs of the relative stability that has characterised the first half of the year,” said Lucy Tugby, Marketing Director of MOTORS.

“The focus for buyers in June was on essential purchase cars with older, cheaper, combustion engine models attracting plenty of online attention. We expect this to continue into July as family and personal budgets start turning to summer holiday spending.

“While this period of stability is positive news for the sector, dealers will be far from complacent, especially as they plan their stocking needs for July matching both online and local demand with availability in the market,” said Tugby.