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Paul Burgess, Startline Motor Finance
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ALMOST two-thirds of dealers (64%) say that recent falls in trade values are stopping them stocking electric vehicles (EVs).

The key issue, according to 56%, is that values are too volatile while 15% say that the same applies to prices, according to March’s Startline Used Car Tracker.

Additionally, 20% say that stock turnaround on EVs is proving too slow while 9% say obtaining finance is difficult.

Paul Burgess, Chief Executive at Startline Motor Finance, said: “The dramatic fall in EV values in recent months has generated a lot of headlines in the motor industry and is clearly having a very real effect on whether dealers choose to stock these vehicles.

“This is understandable. Some popular models of EV have seen a double-digit percentage fall in values month on month and, for dealers, this can translate into potential losses of thousands of pounds on every vehicle. Not many dealers can afford to take those risks.

“Added to this, there is a widespread perception that EVs are slower to sell than petrol and diesel equivalents, which also makes stocking them less attractive. It’s undeniably a difficult period for the used EV market.”

However, the Startline Used Car Tracker also shows that 24% of dealers expect EV values to recover with 15% saying worries about values and prices are overstated. Additionally, 18% say that EVs are now an important part of their model mix.

Burgess said: “There is, of course, no doubt that the used car market will electrify over the coming years but dealers are finding that this journey will not be necessarily linear. There will be periods when this relatively young market sees supply race ahead of customer demand, as we are seeing now but it’s worth remembering that it was only relatively recently that EVs were perceived as being in short supply.

“What we all want to see is a situation where EV values settle down and can be priced at a point where they look good value compared to petrol and diesel equivalents for everyday used car buyers. Getting to that point might turn out to be quite a bumpy ride, though.”

Elsewhere in the Startline Used Car Tracker, there appears to have been a recovery in confidence with 24% of dealers saying they are optimistic about the used car market compared to just 8% in February. The leading reason given is that consumer confidence is strengthening. However, 31% of dealers remain pessimistic about the sector’s prospects.

Burgess added: “The used car market remains remarkably resilient. What we are seeing now, we believe, is a situation where dealers are realising that despite the cost of living crisis worsening, a more than a sufficient number of buyers remain for the limited amount of stock that is available. That doesn’t look as though it will change in the medium term”

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, 306 consumers and 62 dealers were questioned.

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