Nissan Leaf

Used EVs are now selling faster than petrol and/or diesel cars in the UK, according to a new report from AutoTrader UK magazine.

The report, based on data from AutoTrader’s Fast Selling Index, suggests that, on average, used electric vehicles in the UK are moving on to new owners two days quicker than their gasoline-powered counterparts, the former taking just 26 days to sell compared with 28 days for the latter. Further data suggests that, generally, used EVs are also being sold in the UK more quickly now than they were at the beginning of the year, that 26-day figure a full 18 days – 41 per cent – faster than the average taken back in January (44 days).

Of the highest selling used all-electric models as of November 23, the 2017MY Nissan Leaf came out on top just ahead of the 2016 Renault Zoe (not available in Canada), and 2013 and 2016 model year editions of Tesla’s Model 3 and Model S respectively. The Model X, in 10th, meant Tesla was the only manufacturer to break the used EV Top 10 three times, though Kia – courtesy of the 2018 Soul (8th) and the 2021 Niro (9th) – was close.

Interestingly, despite the increased speed with which EVs outsell their ICE equivalent, no fully electric vehicle made it into the overall top 10 of AutoTrader UK’s fastest-selling used cars as of November 23. Indeed, of those 10, only two were plug-in hybrid models, with the 2017 Hyundai IONIQ and the 2020 Toyota Prius+ placing 2nd and 7th in the ranking’s respectively. Remarkably, only one of the remaining eight – the 4th-placed Nissan Qashqai – was a gas-powered model, the top 10 list dominated almost entirely by diesel vehicles.

Interestingly, the speed at which used EVs and gas cars are sold is also undercut by used diesel cars, the latter’s 24-day average two days fewer than those of used EVs and four days less than petrol counterparts.

Much of this could come down to the disparate nature in pricing between used EVs and used petrol cars in the UK. A less-than-12-month old EV, for example, costs an estimated 47 per cent more than its gas or diesel equivalent. Only when a used EV’s age has increased to more than five years does the price gap become more comparable, though prices still tend to be 10 per cent more expensive.

Granted, used EVs’ accelerated sales does suggest consumer demand for electrified motoring – in accordance with the industry’s rapid and continuing development – is still growing. Nevertheless. PHEVs, for example, are better represented in AutoTrader UK’s fastest selling ‘nearly new’ – i.e. under 12 months old – category, with the Toyota Prius at the very top of the list (16 days to predicted sale) and the 2020 Kia Niro – set to be replaced with the brand-new second generation model – in 7th (27 days).

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