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Motors reports buyers focusing on essential purchases, driving demand for older cars

Advertised used car prices and dealer stock levels dipped as buyers concentrated on older essential purchase vehicles, according to Motors’ Market View for June.

The average price of used cars dropped by £222 (-1.3%) month-on-month (MoM) from £17,390 to £17,168, translating to a year-on-year (YoY) decrease of -7.3% (£1,343). This decline was primarily driven by franchised dealers, whose prices slid -4% (£970) from £24,067 to £23,097.

In the first half of the year, prices have fallen 1.8% from £17,475 in January. The most significant price drops were observed in both older and newer cars. Vehicles over 10 years old decreased by 2.3% (£165) from £7,060 to £6,895, a YoY drop of 3.1%.

Cars under two years old saw a -1.4% (£444) decrease from £31,134 to £30,690, down -4.2% YoY. Prices for cars aged two to five years steadied with a slight -0.5% (£104) MoM dip to £19,296, although this age group experienced the highest YoY fall at -9%.

Dealer stock levels decreased from 54 to 51 units MoM and from 55 units a year ago.

Franchised dealers experienced the largest drop, from 63 to 56 units (-11%), compared to 65 units last June (-14%).

Independent dealers remained stable at 39 units, just one unit down MoM. Meanwhile, car supermarkets saw stock levels rise for the third consecutive month, increasing from 245 to 254 units, though still tracking -16% below last year’s high volumes.

Overall, stock levels for the first half of the year have remained relatively stable, starting at 54 units in January.

Online research by buyers focused mainly on older, medium-sized models priced up to £10,000. In terms of fuel choice, petrol led with half of all ad views, followed by diesel (44%), hybrid (5%), and electric (2%).

“With only small downward movements in prices and stock levels in June, we are seeing further signs of the relative stability that has characterised the first half of the year,” said Lucy Tugby, marketing director of Motors.

“The focus for buyers in June was on essential purchase cars, particularly older, cheaper combustion engine models, which attracted significant online attention. We expect this trend to continue into July as family and personal budgets shift towards summer holiday spending.

“While this period of stability is positive news for the sector, dealers will not be complacent, especially as they plan their stocking needs for July, matching both online and local demand with market availability,” added Tugby.


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