Used petrol cars shine as July’s star performers despite ‘punchy prices’

Petrol was the fuel of choice for many used car buyers in July as consumers sought the assurance of familiarity and good value against a backdrop of challenging economic conditions, according to eBay Motors Group.

The latest Market View analysis of used car retailing trends on shows average prices remained stable, down just 0.6% to £18,151, in line with recent monthly dips which have seen them drop just 4% since January. The overall strength of prices is illustrated by them tracking at 11% up year-on-year.

Dealer stock volumes for the month remained consistent at 55 units, down from 56 in both June and last July.

However, days to sell increased month-on-month from 36 to 39.5 days as seasonal trends kicked in following the start of the school summer holidays.

Against the backdrop of the cost of living crisis and rising interest rates, dealers focused on sourcing safe choices which saw petrol increase to over half of all stock volumes (53%), resulting in month-on-month declines for diesel, hybrid and electric.

Buyers were not discouraged by rising prices which saw petrol cars increase by 0.3% to £17,400, while demand for older models prompted a 4% rise for cars aged over 10 years old to £7,302.

One of the fastest selling used cars in July was the petrol-engined Audi A1, with examples aged over five years old selling in just 12 days.

Lucy Tugby, Marketing Director of eBay Motors Group, said: “Despite some punchy pricing, used petrol cars were the star performers for dealers in July. When it comes to fuel choice, we can see how buyers are factoring in rising living costs and choosing what they know best. For many this means holding off transitioning to electric or hybrid and buying petrol cars, a decision made easier by recent pump price drops.

“Although days to sell increased in July, we saw strong levels of buyer interest during the month. Our Consumer Insight Panel* research shows that nearly a third of buyers plan to change their cars as a result of a UK staycation, rising to nearly half planning on driving to Europe for their holidays, so this activity suggests buyers are putting these plans into action.”