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November 26, 2021

Used EVs selling faster than petrol for first time, Auto Trader finds

By Chris Lemmon

Used electric vehicles (EVs) are currently selling faster than their petrol counterparts for the first time, according to the latest statistics from Auto Trader.

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). Used EVs are selling 41% faster than at the start of the year, leaving forecourts 18 days sooner than they did in January (44 days).

The Nissan Leaf (2017 registration) 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, which is trailed by the Tesla Model 3 (2021), which is taking 27.

The online marketplace has seen a 122.6% year-on-year increase in EV searches and advert views on the site. 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.

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.

Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s director of commercial products, said: “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.”

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