Autorola UK posted a 14.9% increase in used car and van sales in 2022 via its online remarketing platform as motorists continued buying and selling used vehicles digitally.

This growth came against a backdrop of falling used vehicle volumes as the stock remains restricted by fleets extending replacement cycles and dealers retaining part exchanges to retail due to new car production capacity issues.

2022 was the first year that Autorola experienced a fall in demand for used diesels and the first big sign that drivers are speeding up their move away from the fuel type.

Diesel sales shrank by 15.1% in 2022 accounting for just over one in four used cars that Autorola sold online (26.1%) while used petrol sales rose by 28.9% accounting for nearly two out of every three used cars (64.9%). 

That compares with 2021 where used diesels and petrols accounted for 35.3% and 57.8% of sales respectively. Hybrid and EV sales also rose by 52.6% to account for a record 8.9% of used cars sold in 2022, from 6.7% in 2021.

Used prices remained strong for much of 2022 but Autorola saw diesel prices fall in Q4 by 5.8% (£1,120) to £18,007 mainly due to a major increase in age and mileage. The average age of used diesels rose from 44-49 months and mileage increased from an average of 32,396 to 35,753 miles. Older, higher mileage used cars are becoming the norm as new car delivery times remain compromised by production delays.

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Used EV values also fell by 8.3% (£2,348) in Q4 to £28,231 with consumers struggling to justify the excessive costs amid a difficult economic climate. To put used EV prices into perspective, despite a fall in Q4 values, they ended the year double that of used petrols (£14,067) and 56% dearer than diesels (£18,007).

Jon Mitchell

Jon Mitchell, Autorola UK’s group sales director, said: “We gained hundreds of new online buyers during the pandemic lockdown, and they have stayed with us. This helped our business grow at a time when the remarketing industry was experiencing a fall in volumes. 

“We are also witnessing a shift in the type of stock we are selling with diesels proving less popular and petrols and hybrids increasing in popularity. Used EV demand and prices meanwhile are falling during the current cost of living crisis which is helping boost both petrol and hybrid sales,” he added.

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