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

·2-min read

Used electric vehicles are being shifted from dealer forecourts faster than petrol cars for the first time.

Leading online car marketplace Auto Trader has revealed that the average EV is taking 26 days to sell, which is 18 days faster than in January and two days faster than petrol cars.

Diesel vehicles are still selling the fastest, though, at 24 days.

The fastest-selling electric vehicle was the 2017 Nissan Leaf, which takes an average of 20 days to sell. This is followed by the 2016 Renault Zoe (23 days) and the in-demand Tesla Model 3 (27 days).

The data shows demand for electric vehicles has massively increased, with search volumes and advert views up 123 per cent year-on-year for zero-emission vehicles.

However, Auto Trader says the market share for EVs is still very low compared with their combustion-engined counterparts, and intent-to-buy is also low.

This could be down to the fact that EVs are considerably more expensive. Data shows that ‘nearly new’ EVs are 47 per cent more expensive than their petrol or diesel equivalents, while even a five-year-old car is 10 per cent pricier.

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

Renault Zoe
(Renault)

Despite this overall acceleration of sales, no EVs made it onto the fast-selling models list. The 2017 diesel Seat Alhambra took that honour, predicted to sell in 15 days. This was followed by various models, including the 2016 Mazda CX-5 and 2020 Toyota Prius+, which typically took 16 days to sell.

Edwards-Smajda added: “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 means 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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