Digital remarketing platform Dealer Auction has reported growing interest in alternatively fueled vehicles (AFVs) in the U.K.

Trade-to-trade listings of electric and hybrid vehicles has jumped 30% this year according to Dealer Auction’s EV Performance Review (EVPR). The number of electric and hybrid cars sold has increased by 47% between January and April, compared to the previous four months, while prices have dropped by 4.5%.

Matthias Schmidt, an independent analyst, said the U.K. was Europe’s biggest electric car market during the first quarter of 2024. Between January and March, 84,314 new battery-electric vehicles were registered, a 10% improvement over the same period in 2023.

Schmidt believes the U.K. government’s zero-emission vehicle mandate, which requires 22% of new cars sold in 2024 to be zero emission, is driving the growth. This percentage will increase each year up to 100% by 2035.

Changing used car market

Kieran TeeBoon, Dealer Auction’s marketplace director, said the EVPR is yielding fascinating data about a “changing used market”.

“This year thus far has already seen a notable leap in AFVs sold and it will be interesting to see how the year plays out.

“This alone tells us that, even though they represent a small proportion, compared to ICE (internal combustion engine), they are figuring in the plans of more and more dealers. That will only increase as AFVs ultimately become a bigger part of the overall car parc picture.”

Electric cars are making up the majority of AFVs sold, with hybrid listings dropping by 7% even though the amount sold has risen by 22%.

Dealer Auctions reports ad views for EVs and hybrids rose by 11%, while bids received increased by more than 15%. “Against a backdrop of reduced hybrid listings, the search increase demonstrates an evident dealer appetite for hybrids’ growing profit potential” said Dealer Auction.

The fuel-type split for the period highlights that EVs have seen small dealer-to-dealer sales increase at just 0.23%, while hybrids equal 0.71%. The number of diesels sold in this period dropped by 2.4%.

“The slide in the number of diesel vehicles sold is notable and reflects their obliteration from the new car market,” TeeBoon added. “But despite falling out of favour in urban areas, used diesel retains a loyal following outside of cities and with people covering huge mileages or where towing is essential. Competition for this stock will likely intensify as volumes wane.”

The average sold price of EVs and hybrids on Dealer Auction between Jan 1. and Apr. 30 dropped by 4.5% to £13,609 ($17,294 U.S.). Their average age increased by 11% (or nearly five years), while the average mileage climbed by more than 3% to 40,315 miles.

“The profile of the EVs and hybrids we’ve seen so far this year makes me wonder if dealers are increasingly hanging on to any younger models traded in instead of pushing them out for a trade sale,” added TeeBoon.

“Used EVs, in particular, represent great value versus their new price while hybrids are the natural replacement for buyers not ready to jump fully into electric, and this could be influencing stock decisions.”

Dealer Auction is an independent company created through a joint venture between Cox Automotive and Auto Trader. Dealer Auction’s EVPR, which launched in May, tracks monthly performance and trends of EV and hybrid vehicles in the U.K.

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