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Interest in used electric vehicles falls despite prices dropping

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

The demand for electric vehicles (EV) in the UK has halved in the last year, although figures from a motoring service revealed that London was bucking this trend, as the impact of the ULEZ expansion hits the capital.

Analysis from used car site AA Cars found searches for battery-powered vehicles fell to around 5%, which is a drop from 11.3% last year. However, in London, that trend was reversed as searches went up 10% compared to the first six months of 2022, with the capital preparing for the much-debated Ultra Low Emission Zones announcement.

Despite the drop in interest in EVs on the AA Cars website, annual sales of used EVs have rocketed, as figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMST) reveal sales of used battery electric vehicles rose by 81.8% in Q2 2023.

Used EVs falling in price

AA Cars also highlighted that due to a price drop in used EVs, now is as good as ever to go second-hand. You can now pick up a pre-owned hybrid or EV at an average cost of £31,276, more than £1,000 cheaper than last year.

Mark Oakley, director of AA Cars, said: “Drivers have been buying EVs in ever-increasing numbers, but there are signs that interest may be cooling outside of London. This could be down to cost-of-living pressures pushing people towards buying cheaper petrol and diesel vehicles.

“While the ULEZ expansion is likely playing a part in keeping London demand steady as drivers look to future-proof themselves, it is clear that more needs to be done to promote EVs in order to accelerate their take-up.

He continued: “As more cities consider introducing clean air standards, interest in EVs should pick-up further as drivers view them as a long-term option that will always make the grade when it comes to emissions standards.

“Drivers are understandably keen to save money where they can at the moment. We recommend that anyone buying a used car gets a vehicle inspection from a qualified engineer before parting with any money, as this will minimise the likelihood of you running into any unexpected — and potentially costly — issues in the future.”

Biggest price drops for most popular EVs

Model Average Q1 2023 price Average Q2 2023 price Change (%)
Renault Zoe £16,140 £14,046 -13%
Nissan Leaf £17,441 £15,559 -10.8%
Tesla Model 3 £35,478 £31,927 -10%
Hyundai IONIQ £22,608 £20,564 -9%
Toyota Auris £14,902 £13,788 -7.5%
Mitsubishi Outlander £18,466 £17,148 -7.1%
BMW 330 £23,724 £22,099 -6.9%
Toyota Prius £19,664 £18,413 -6.4%
Volkswagen Golf £23,077 £21,685 -6%
Hyundai KONA £25,189 £23,764 -5.7%

Source: AA Cars data from Q1 to Q2 2023