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ELECTRIC vehicle resale values have taken a real hammering in the past 12 months with the latest data for the year confirming unprecedented erosion in the value of older EVs being offered to used car buyers.

According to Annual Automotive Insights Report (AIR) data for the full year of 2023, just 12,051 used EVs were sold last year. EVs represent only 0.7 of total used car market share.

But in spite of used EVs being in such short supply (which should boost resale values), used EV prices were particularly precipitous – especially in the two to four-year old EV age category. 

For EVs between 2 and 4 years old, retained values “underperformed the market significantly” finishing at only 57.6 per cent of their original value by December.

“This is incredibly low compared to the average of all cars aged 2-4 years which is 85.9 per cent,” the AIR said.

EVs less than 2 years old also saw their retained value drop dramatically over the year from a high of 98.1 per cent in February to 82.8 per cent by the end of the year.

The report, which is produced by AutoGrab in conjunction with the Australian Automotive Dealer Association, said the EV used car market was dominated by Tesla with 36.4 per cent market share, followed by MG (14.6) and Nissan (8.2).

Used car sales trends

The report also confirmed for the first time that in addition to one million-plus new cars bought a year, some two million-plus used cars change hands and that the ratio of private to dealer is 61 per cent private to 39 per cent dealer.

October and November saw the highest number of used cars sold, with both months breaking through 200,000 units. January and February were the slowest months for used car sales with around 150,000 units selling for each month.

Petrol (65.8 per cent) and diesel (30.6 per cent) vehicles made up the overwhelming majority of used car sales while hybrids (2.7 per cent), EVs (0.6 per cent) and PHEV (0.1 per cent) represent a tiny proportion of used car sales.

Toyota was the top selling used car brand with 16.6 per cent market share, followed by Mazda (8.2 per cent) and Ford (8 per cent).

The Ford Ranger was the top selling vehicle with 65,938 units, pipping the Toyota Hilux (65,852) by only 86 units.

Toyota had four vehicles in the top 10 sellers.

Used car price trends

As the year progressed there was a gradual easing of the tight supply situation of recent years and used car values declined. They also took longer to sell.

Across all age groups, utes held their values above the average. Passenger vehicles across all age groups tracked close to the average, while SUVs were the worst performing vehicle segments in terms of retained value, sitting well below average for all age groups.

Vehicles in the Northern Territory retained their value better than other states at 93.4 per cent. Tasmania (86.6 per cent) and Western Australia (87.1 per cent) enjoyed above average retained values in this class while the east coast states were all below average.

Read more:

Used cars taking longer to sell – AIR

Pitcher Partners reviews used car data


By John Mellor

AdTorque Edge