November sees essential purchase used cars take centre stage, reports MOTORS

Steady demand for cost-effective essential purchase cars and relatively small movements across prices, stock levels and days to sell, were among some of the key used car retailing trends in MOTORS’ Market View analysis of November.

Consumer focus on affordability saw cars priced under £10,000 achieving some of the best month-on-month improvements in days to sell. Models listed under £5,000 and between £5,000-£9,999 sold in 44 and 38 days respectively, both seeing a 3% improvement on October.

Demand for essential purchase cars was further illustrated by the Vauxhall Corsa with three-year-old models, with up to 30,000 miles on the clock, averaging £16,553, 4% higher than September.

Some older cars also saw an uptick, led by 14–16-year-old examples of the Ford Focus, which was the biggest month-on-month price improver on MOTORS, up 9% to £5,054. While younger cars dominated the biggest price fallers, led by 2–3-year-old Vauxhall Crossland X models, which tumbled by 14% to £11,839.

Despite downward pressure on wholesale values, the average price of a used car remained flat at £17,619, just £76 (or 0.4%) higher than October and 2% ahead of November 2022. However, within the mix average advertised prices of cars under five-years-old dropped 1.5% month-on-month, after performing strongly for much of this year, while remaining broadly flat for older vehicles.

Dealer stock levels, which have been slowly rising since September, remained on a par with October at 49 units, although 3% ahead year-on-year.

Days to sell remained unchanged month-on-month at 36, with car supermarkets achieving the quickest sales at 27 days. Franchised dealers were flat at 30 days and independent dealers improved from 49 to 48 days.

The fastest selling car, for the second month in a row was the discontinued Toyota Prius Plus hybrid, averaging just 14 days on dealer forecourts.

Electric vehicles were the fastest growing fuel type, increasing 18% for the month and 46% year-on-year, taking a 3% share of all listings.

It was also a strong month for hybrids, up 14% for the month, doubling their year-on-year volumes, to account for 7% of all listings. 

Petrol volumes also grew, up 3% for the month and up 10% on last November, accounting for 53% of listings. Diesel also rallied, increasing 2% for the month but down 4% year-on-year.

“November proved to be a relatively stable month for the used car market. Despite the widely reported falls of wholesale values in October and November, our Market View analysis shows signs of dealer resilience as they held firm on advertised prices,” said Lucy Tugby, Marketing Director of MOTORS.

“Our data also identified a strong month for no-frills cars, with demand prompting price rises for older mainstream models such as the Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai i10 and Citroen C4 Picasso.

“As household budgets, already squeezed by cost of living pressures, factor in Christmas spending, we expect these essential purchase cars to continue to attract buyers over the coming weeks, ahead of consumers going online during the festive break to search for their next car,” she said.

To see the full Market View report please click here.