Demand for used electric vehicles doubles in Q3

In the third quarter (Q3), there was a record-breaking surge in demand for used battery electric vehicles (BEVs), with volumes rising by 99.9% to 34,021 units.

New data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) indicates that used BEVs now make up 1.8% of the market, up from 1% the previous year.

In Q3, sales of hybrid vehicles (HEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) increased by 34.6% and 46.4%, respectively.

In contrast, the volumes of petrol and diesel vehicles increased by 4% to 1,065,448 and 2.3% to 704,204 units, respectively.

“Used electric vehicle prices have seen volatility for some months now, due to a normalisation of pricing as supply grows within a market that’s still in its infancy,” stated Richard Peberdy, UK head of automotive for KPMG.

The reduction in the cost of used electric vehicles is providing consumers who want to switch to EVs with more options and more affordable options.

“This is contributing to increasing the market share of EVs in relation to the total used car market quarter over quarter.”

The alluring combination of increased availability and affordability is driving up demand for electric cars (EVs), according to Ian Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader, which is almost at record levels.
According to him, the price obstacles that previously prevented EV adoption have been removed, with many models now costing the same as their traditionally fuelled equivalents. “On average, used EV prices fell around 22% during Q3 compared with last year,” he stated.

Prices have now stabilised, which is a blessing for EV merchants and funders, but all data indicate that this good trend will continue, with used EVs currently making up roughly 8% of all used car inquiries received to retailers via our platform.

When considering the used market as a whole, 1,884,160 units were traded in Q3, representing a 5.5% growth.

With 98,713 more transactions than during the same period in 2022, the increase represents the third consecutive quarter of growth. This is due to an increase in supply as the market for new cars improves.
Every month during the quarter saw an increase in volumes, with September seeing the biggest increase at 6.3%. This contributed to the market achieving its best Q3 performance since 2021.

The market as a whole has increased by 4.6% to 5,563,576 units year to date—a gain of 244,094 units over 2022—but uptake is still 9.3% lower than it was prior to the epidemic.

The chief executive of SMMT, Mike Hawes, stated: “The used car industry is still expanding rapidly, and the demand for pre-owned electric cars was sparked by a reenergized supply, which led to twice as many drivers switching to zero emission vehicles during the quarter.

“Growth in the new car industry is necessary to sustain this momentum, increase supply to the used car market, and solidify this success.

“The urgent rollout of charging infrastructure is equally important, ensuring that all drivers can rely on being able to charge whenever and wherever they need to.”

The SMMT statistics follow a concerning decline in the value of secondhand cars. Since Cap HPI revealed a 4.2% decline in October—the biggest monthly decline in almost a decade—they have fallen an additional 1.5% on average.

Superminis continued to be the most popular car category, making up 32.3% of all transactions and increasing by 5.8% to 607,484 units.

Lower-class medium and dual-purpose cars, which increased by 7.1% to account for 26.8% and 14.9% of the market, completed the top three vehicle categories.

When taken as a whole, the three categories represent about 73.9 percent of all cars sold in Q3.
The only groups to experience decreases were luxury saloons and sports cars, which had drops of 2.5% and 1.8%, respectively, at the other end of the spectrum.