Press release

Fastest Selling Used Cars | November 2021

Used electric vehicles are selling faster than used petrol vehicles for the very first time

Data from Auto Trader’s Fastest Selling Index, which  tracks the potential speed at which vehicles will sell based on live supply and demand in the market, has revealed that used electric vehicles (EV) are currently selling faster than their petrol counterparts for the very first time.

On average, a used EV is currently taking just 26 days to sell, which is two days faster than a used petrol vehicle (28), but two days slower than a used diesel (24). Remarkably, used electric vehicles are selling 41% faster than at the start of the year, leaving forecourts 18 days sooner than they did in January (44 days).

Looking at the data on a more granular level, it’s the ground-breaking Nissan Leaf (2017 registration) which holds the current title of fastest selling used EV in the UK right now, taking an average of just 20 days to leave forecourts. It’s followed into second place by the French electric supermini, the Renault Zoe (2016), which is taking 23 days to sell, and into third by the highly desirable Tesla Model 3 (2021), which is taking 27.

The staggering acceleration in the days to sell reflects the massive growth in consumer demand for electric, which is reflected in the 122.6% year-on-year increase in the volume of EV searches and advert views on Auto Trader. However, whilst the growth in popularity of both new and used electric vehicles is clear, they still represent a small percentage of the overall market, and evidence suggests only a small number of people show genuine intent towards purchasing one. In fact, on Auto Trader just 25% of EV considerers account for more than three quarters (79%) of all EVs looked at on its marketplace.

This reluctance is due, in part, to the significant price disparity in both new and used electric vehicles. The average sticker price of a ‘nearly new’ EV (under 12 months old) is currently 47% more expensive than its petrol or diesel equivalent, whilst a one year old is 40% more, a two year old is 39% more, and even a five year old electric car is over 10% more expensive. It’s no surprise then that 38%[1] of consumers identify the upfront expense of an EV as a primary barrier to entry.

Despite the increased speed of sale for used EVs, looking at all fuel types across the total used car market, a pure-electric failed to make it on to the national list of fastest selling models. Hybrids were better represented, with the Hyundai IONIQ (2017) and Toyota Prius+ (2020) ranking at second and seventh respectively. However, it’s the much-maligned diesel that continues to dominate, representing seven of the top 10, including the number one spot with the SEAT Alhambra (2017), which is currently taking an average of just 15 days to sell.

Low emission vehicles are faring much better in the ‘nearly new’ market, making up four of the top 10 used cars aged under 12 months old. The petrol-hybrid Toyota Prius+ (2020) and Kia Niro (2020) are in first and seventh place, selling in 16 days and 27 days respectively. The pure electric Tesla Model 3 (2021) and MG ZS (2021) take the sixth and tenth spot, taking an average of 27 and 29 days to sell respectively.

Commenting on the findings, Auto Trader’s Director of Commercial Products, Karolina Edwards-Smajda, said: “The acceleration in the speed of sale of used electric vehicles reflects a significant increase in consumer demand this year, which has been driven by a myriad of factors, not least rising fuel costs. The used electric market will play an important role in driving mass adoption and reaching the government’s 2030 targets, however, as it stands, the ‘green premium’ for buying a new or used EV mean they remain out of reach for the vast majority of car buyers. If the government is serious in its ambition, it will need to do a lot more to make EVs financially accessible to more than just the most affluent; it would do well to take the lead from other European markets which are applying a smarter approach to incentives and a more comprehensive set of enabling policies.”

Auto Trader’s The Road to 2030 report discusses the action needed to make mass market EVs take off in the UK. It can be viewed here:  https://www.autotraderroadto2030.co.uk/

Current fastest selling used cars – all fuel types (as of 23rd November 2021)

Rank

Make / model

Fuel & transmission

Auto Trader Retail Rating

Predicted days to sell

1

2017 SEAT Alhambra

Diesel - Automatic

99.72

15

2

2017 Hyundai IONIQ

Petrol Hybrid - Automatic

99.97

16

3

2016 Mazda CX-5

Diesel - Manual

99.95

16

4

2015 Nissan Qashqai

Petrol – Automatic

99.88

16

5

2017 Ford Galaxy

Diesel - Manual

99.72

16

6

2018 Volkswagen Sharan

Diesel - Manual

98.68

16

7

2020 Toyota Prius+

Petrol Hybrid - Automatic

99.92

16

8

2016 Citroen Grand C4

Diesel - Automatic

99.50

17

9

2015 Mazda CX-5

Diesel - Automatic

99.62

17

10

2016 Ford Grand C-Max

Diesel - Manual

99.73

17

 

Current fastest selling used electric cars (as of 23rd November 2021)

Rank

Make / model

Fuel & transmission

Auto Trader Retail Rating

Predicted days to sell

1

2017 Nissan Leaf

Electric - Automatic

99.98

20

2

2016 Renault Zoe

Electric - Automatic

99.84

23

3

2021 Tesla Model 3

Electric - Automatic

88.66

27

4

2016 Tesla Model S

Electric - Automatic

83.73

30

5

2020 MG ZS

Electric - Automatic

84.38

31

6

2021 Audi Q4 e-tron

Electric - Automatic

71.18

34

7

2021 Porsche Taycan

Electric - Automatic

73.85

34

8

2018 Kia Soul

Electric - Automatic

58.17

37

9

2021 Kia Niro

Electric - Automatic

54.26

37

10

2019 Tesla Model X

Electric - Automatic

52.17

37

 

Current fastest selling nearly new (under 12 months) cars (as of 23rd November 2021)

Rank

Make / model

Fuel & transmission

Auto Trader Retail Rating

Predicted days to sell

1

2020 Toyota Prius+

Petrol Hybrid - Automatic

99.92

16

2

2021 Vauxhall Mokka

Petrol - Manual

94.27

23

3

2021 Land Rover Discover

Diesel - Automatic

93.62

23

4

2020 MG ZS

Petrol - Automatic

79.85

26

5

2020 Mercedes GLA Class

Petrol - Automatic

64.27

26

6

2021 Tesla Model 3

Electric - Automatic

88.66

27

7

2020 Kia Niro

Petrol Hybrid - Automatic

85.15

27

8

2021 Land Rover Defender

Diesel - Automatic

76.81

27

9

2021 Vauxhall Grandland

Petrol - Manual

76.24

28

10

2021 MG ZS

Electric - Automatic

83.66

29

 

- ENDS-

About Auto Trader’s Retail Rating

The average days to turn is determined using Auto Trader’s unique Retail Rating metric, which utilising the latest pricing data, as well as supply and demand dynamics, provides an indication of how likely the vehicle will sell if priced according to the live retail market. This is represented by a numerical value out of 100.

Retail Rating is based on analysis of over 1.9 million vehicles each day, including 90,000 vehicle updates and an average of 19,000 vehicles added or removed from Auto Trader. Coupled with data from circa 450,000 daily trade used car listings, as well as additional dealer forecourt and website data, it’s the industry’s largest and most robust dataset.

[1] August 2021, Auto Trader consumer survey

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