Seat Leon takes the podium as fastest selling used car, Auto Trader finds

The Seat Leon has emerged as the UK’s fastest-selling used car, taking an average of just 10 days to leave retailers’ forecourts, according to the latest data from Auto Trader.

Selling twice as quickly as the national average of 26 days, the demand for the hatchback marks the fastest pace for over three years and reflects the underlying strength of the used car market.

The iconic Spanish petrol plug-in wasn’t the only low emission vehicle to feature on this month’s list of fastest sellers, with the all-electric Tesla Model Y making it into seventh place, taking a mere 12 days to sell.

However, the current list is dominated by internal combustion engine (ICE) variants, which includes the petrol Vauxhall Crossland (aged 3-5 years), which is currently the second fastest used car to sell, taking an average of just 10.5 days.

Auto Trader’s data highlights the considerable nuance in the used car market, with significant variances across fuel type, age and brand type.

For example, petrol cars are currently selling at a quicker pace than any other fuel type, taking an average of 25 days, versus 28 for diesel and 32 for electric. However, when looking at a more granular level, electric cars aged three-five years-old where most of the EV stock sits are selling in 28 days.

Auto Trader said it is worth noting that supply of used electric vehicles aged below five-years-old is up 4% year-on-year, whilst petrol and diesel is down -9.3% and -31.5% respectively (due to the drop in new car sales over the pandemic, as well as a shift away from diesel more broadly.

Although stabilising in recent months, demand for used electric vehicles has surged over the last year, fuelled by a compelling combination of softening prices, as well as improved availability and choice as a result of the increased levels of supply into the market. Auto Trader’s data shows that current demand on its marketplace for used EVs aged below five years old, is up by 56% YoY (versus 0.7% for petrol and -18.8% for diesel).

Looking at the data by age, the current slowest selling cohort are nearly new vehicles, those aged less than one-years-old, taking on average 30 days to sell, six days slower than those aged 1-3 years old (24 days).

Despite strong overall demand on Auto Trader, up 26.6% YoY, this nearly new age group is recording the largest increase in supply growth (36.5% YoY). This age cohort is dominating the current slowest selling cars in the market, accounting for 70% of the list.

According to the data, volume cars are currently taking the least amount of time to sell, leaving forecourts on average in just 25 days, compared to the 29 days for premium brands.

Commenting, Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s data & insights director, said: “The speed in which used cars are selling is a good barometer of health in the market, so it’s reassuring to see that stock is continuing to turn quickly. We may see some slight movement by the end of the month, but at this mid-way point, we’re seeing used cars shift at near record levels.

“The variances we’re seeing across different cohorts is a good reminder of just how important it is to follow the data at an almost forensic level; there is huge opportunity, but what’s right for one forecourt isn’t necessarily right for another, so as always, use the data available to spot those cars that are selling the fastest in your local market.”

Fastest-selling used cars as of mid-March 2024

Slowest-selling used cars as of mid-March 2024

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