New car sales flushing older cars into used market

The September plate-change helped boost the volume of older cars entering the used car market and heralds the start of replacement cycles returning to normal, according to remarketing portal Autorola.

The average age and mileage of used cars sold on Autorola’s online remarketing portal reached a record high during Q3 as the improved supply of new cars flushed older ex-fleet and dealer part exchanges into the used market.

Autorola said this is the first real sign that it has seen of older cars being replaced in higher volumes since replacement cycles increased during the Covid pandemic. The September new plate change helped contribute to these higher volumes.

The average age and mileage profile of diesel cars in Q3 rose to 51 months/39,139 miles from 50 months/37,676 miles in Q2, while petrol cars rose to 45 months/26,473 miles from 44 months/25,130 miles.

Hybrids also experienced a rise in Q3 to 32 months/21,633 miles from 31 months/18,281 miles in Q2, while EVs rose to 31 months/19,899 miles from 28 months/17,277 miles.

Autorola said that despite the rise in average age and mileage prices and the usual summer seasonal slowdown in Q3, ICE prices in particular have remained healthy.

Used diesel prices fell by just 1.5% (£276) from Q2 to Q3 to £17,580 and used petrol prices dropped by 1.8% (£272) to £14,703. Used EV prices saw the biggest price fall of 9.5% (£2,124) to £20,067, while hybrids fell by 5.4% (£1,295) to £22,246.

“With new car supply and sales continuing to improve it was only a matter of time before we saw the older cars reach the second-hand market in higher numbers,” said Jon Mitchell, Autorola’s group sales director.

“The strong September new car plate market has made a big contribution to this trend. It looks likely to continue until replacement cycles are more into line with what we have been used to.”

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