Dealers split over type of EVs that the used car market needs

Dealers are split over the type of used electric vehicles (EVs) that are needed to spark greater customer interest, new research suggests.

September’s new Startline Used Car Tracker shows 38% believe the used car market needs more affordable EVs and that range doesn’t matter too much – but 37% say more EVs that can cover distances of over 200 miles are required.

There is greater agreement when it comes to the current EV stock supply that is available, with 37% agreeing that more electric cars that meet everyday needs are important while 28% point out there are too many expensive, executive EVs in the market.

Price parity with equivalent petrol and diesel models is important, say 30% of dealers, while 25% believe there is a market for smaller, cheaper, shorter range EVs and 18% that EVs are needed that can be charged more easily.

Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “The whole subject of EVs is one that attracts endless debate among used car dealers, not helped by the huge volatility in prices and values that has been seen over the last year. What our research provides is a snapshot of the kinds of EVs that dealers think they could sell today. They seem to be split into two major camps – those who believe range is the main factor and that more longer range EVs are needed, and those who think price is the key, with range taking more of a back seat.

“What is more concerning is that there seems to be some agreement that the types of EVs available in the market might just not be what used car customers want. Because they have been routed largely through the company car sector, there are large numbers of bigger, more luxurious EVs around, which could be too high in value for everyday buyers.”

There are signs that dealers are becoming more receptive to EV retailing. Since June, the Startline Used Car Tracker has each month asked a series of questions about their attitude to EVs. Over that period, the percentage who say they don’t stock EVs has fallen from 18% to 12% while the number who say consumer demand for EVs is increasing has moved from 13% to 18%. Also, those reporting that they are stocking more EVs has risen from 31% to 37%.

Paul said: “While these movements are not huge, the data is consistent in showing that dealers are becoming more accepting of the idea of stocking and retailing EVs, and that they believe there is increasing consumer demand. The market shift from ICE to EV is going to be very much an incremental process, it appears.”

The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled monthly for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research, well-known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs. This time, 349 consumers and 60 dealers were questioned.

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