Some used electric cars are going up in value as the shift towards battery-powered motoring gains momentum.
Examining the prices of the most popular used electric vehicles listed on CarGurus.co.uk revealed that EV values have remained level for months at a time – and in some cases even increased. This is in contrast to values of the most searched for equivalent petrol and diesel-engined models, which have consistently depreciated in value over the period of the study.
CarGurus analyses millions of data points on hundreds of thousands of UK used car listings every day, and uses this to calculate an Instant Market Value (IMV) – or fair retail price – for each car. Our researchers used this data to examine pricing trends for the most searched-for EVs on CarGurus, as well as their equivalent internal combustion-engined equivalents for comparison. The cars included in the study are as follows:
EV: Renault Zoe
Internal combustion equivalent: Ford Fiesta
EV: BMW i3
Internal combustion equivalent: MINI hatchback
EV: Nissan Leaf
Internal combustion equivalent: Volkswagen Golf
EV: Tesla Model S
Internal combustion equivalent: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
The advertised prices of cars listed by dealers on CarGurus.co.uk were then tracked between January 2017 and November 2019.
Whereas the internal combustion-engined models consistently depreciated in price, the values of used EVs dropped far more slowly, and in some cases even increased.
The strongest performing vehicle was the Renault Zoe (model year 2015), values of which have increased by 18% since the beginning of 2017. That compares with a -22% drop in the average price of a 2015 Ford Fiesta over the same period.
In the case of the BMW i3 (2014 model year), while values during the period of study have fallen by -14%, a shorter-term view looking at 2019 only shows that between January and November prices of used i3s have actually increased by 1%. This suggests the market for these cars has stabilised as demand for EVs has increased. Used 2014 MINI hatchbacks by contrast have fallen in value by -18% over the entire duration of the study, and by -14% this year.
NISSAN LEAF AND TESLA MODEL S
Even when depreciation is evident in used electric vehicles, it is happening at a slower rate than in the past. Prices of a 2015 Nissan Leaf were just -9% lower in November 2019 than in January 2017. Values of the similarly sized 2015 Volkswagen Golf fell by -17% over the same period.
In the luxury car segment, the average asking price of a Tesla Model S (2015 model year) listed on CarGurus has fallen by -16% year-to-date. That compares with the most searched-for luxury car, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2015 model year), which has dropped by -22% over the same period.
SNAPSHOT OF CARGURUS DATA
MIRRORING INDUSTRY TRENDS
The figures follow data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) that shows sales of hybrid and electric cars continue to increase. In the used market 13% more hybrid and electric cars were sold in the third quarter of 2019 versus the same period in 2018. The SMMT’s analysis of the new car market shows an even more pronounced trend, with sales of electric cars up 125% year to date compared with 2018.
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