Used EV buyers play a waiting game in the hope of further price realignments, finds latest eBay Motors Group research

Savvy consumers considering buying a used electric vehicle (EV) are waiting for further price drops before purchasing.

eBay Motors Group’s latest Consumer Insight Panel survey has found more than four in 10 buyers (43%) are aware that prices have fallen for many used EVs, with levels of awareness highest among young male buyers.

If prices continue to fall 10% say they will delay buying for up to three months, 15% from four to six months and a further 15% by seven to 12 months.

Despite many buyers waiting for further price drops, the research also shows the high level of interest among buyers for alternative fuelled vehicles, with 42% having searched online for an EV and 33% for a plug-in hybrid (PHEV).

Furthermore, consumers are giving virtually equal consideration to buying new or used. A quarter (25%) have searched for new EVs, compared to 23% for used EVs, while 17% have searched for a new PHEV, compared to 20% for a used PHEV.

The Consumer Insight Panel study was conducted during the first week of March by Insight Advantage, an independent market research firm, and polled the views of over 2,000 car buyers across the UK.

“With used EV prices undergoing a turbulent time, our Consumer Insight Panel research sheds some important light on how this is impacting current buying decisions,” said Lucy Tugby, Marketing Director of eBay Motors Group.

“Savvy customers are holding back in the hope that used EV prices will continue to drop. This consumer uncertainty means dealers need to nurture inbound leads with even more care than usual and think about their messaging to customers.

“We expect used EV prices will eventually find their level once falling wholesale values stabilise and are more aligned to consumer expectations and budgets,” she said.

Overall, when asked what they expect their next car’s fuel type to be, buyer interest in EVs improved slightly after dipping last November.

“During 2022 we saw buyer interest in EVs begin to fall. This indication of recovery, with two in 10 buyers now expecting their next car to be an EV, is likely to be driven by multiple factors including a growing acceptance and understanding of the cost of living crisis, pay review settlements and the expanding range of EV brands and models coming to the market,” said Tugby.