UK demand for used electric cars falls by half

  • Demand for second-hand EVs has declined by half in the past year, but London defied the trend in light of the ULEZ expansion, new data from AA Cars reveals
  • One in 20 searches for used cars on the AA Cars platform are for EVs, down from one in ten (11%) last year — but London-based searches are up by 10%
  • The average price of the most popular used EVs fell by 3.9% during the first half of the year

Interest in second-hand EVs has fallen in the past year, but London is bucking the trend as the ULEZ expands, analysis by AA Cars, the AA’s used car website, has revealed[1].
London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has expanded to the capital’s outer boroughs. From August 29, a £12.50 daily charge applies for driving in the ULEZ if the vehicle doesn't meet certain emission standards.
Annual figures show sales of new electric cars are up nearly 90% compared with 2022[2], while sales of second-hand models have risen 82%[3].
However, the latest data from AA Cars suggest that interest in EVs may be cooling.  
In the first six months of 2022, 11.3% of UK-wide searches by fuel type on the AA Cars site were for EVs. Yet this has fallen by over half (55%) to just 5% of searches over the same period this year.
London is bucking this trend, with EVs featuring in 10% of searches for the first half of 2023, up from 9.1% of searches by fuel type last year.
Anyone currently on the look-out for a used EV is likely to benefit from falling prices. The average listing figure for all secondhand EVs and hybrids on the AA Cars platform dropped by 3.9% from £32,549 to £31,276 in the second quarter of this year[4].
The Renault Zoe has seen the biggest fall in price from Q1 2023 to Q2, declining by 13%.
 Mark Oakley, Director of AA Cars, comments: “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.
“Prices for used EVs on the AA Cars website are falling, which may entice more drivers to consider a second-hand electric vehicle for their next car. However, while the cost of used EVs remain high compared to their petrol and diesel counterparts, more support may be needed from the Government in the future to help cash-strapped consumers with their purchases.  
“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.”


[1]AA Cars analysis of searches by fuel type on its platform from January-June 2022 and January-June 2023.
[2]SMMT new car sales data - July 2023.
[3]SMMT used car sales data - Q2 2023.
[4]AA Cars compared the price of the top 20 most popular EVs on its platform in Q1 2023 with Q2 2023.


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