U.K. Car Dealers Turning Away From Used BEVs

A slump in BEV residual values sees owners struggle to off-load their aging cars, survey suggests.

Paul Myles, European Editor

March 14, 2024

1 Min Read
Nissan Leaf 2010
BEVs, like this Nissan Leaf from 2010, see values dive.

Car dealers in the U.K. are avoiding trading in used battery-electric vehicles, blaming “shocking” depreciation in residual values.

A survey of 66 independent dealerships by vehicle trading platform HonkHonk now suggests BEV owners looking to trade in their cars should not expect much interest from many secondhand car dealerships. More than a third of respondents to the survey say they are “much less interested” than a year ago in taking a used BEV off a customer’s hands.

They blame this on price drops in 2023 that wiped almost half off the value of some BEV models, leaving many dealers afraid to stock them.

The survey also asks dealers if their attitude toward stocking a BEV has changed over the past 12 months and finds more than half of them were less interested today than a year ago. 

Market analysts report that BEVs are partly the victim of their own success, with supply increasing in the used market and rapid improvements to the latest new models making used examples increasingly common but also less attractive to motorists. This is worsened when combined with the ongoing problems of an inadequate charging infrastructure, the previous generations of BEVs offering lower driving ranges, and losing out to smaller internal-combustion-engine vehicles that buyers know and trust while new BEV models remain too expensive for most consumer budgets.

Sebastien Duval, CEO of HonkHonk, says: “The problem is the shocking depreciation we saw last year. It's a dramatic contrast with dealer appetite for buying in general for stock, because we're seeing demand go through the roof for other cars when HonkHonk users offer them. Right now, dealers can't get enough small or medium petrol cars, medium diesels and even hybrids."

 

About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

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