From premium to parity: The evolution of used BEV prices in the UK market

Dean Merritt, Head of Sales at INDICATA UK, provides an insightful analysis of the used Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) market, highlighting a significant milestone achieved in early 2024 – price parity with Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars.

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When used BEVs peaked in Q3 2022, when demand exceeded supply which was exacerbated by the chip shortage, price parity between used zero emission and ICE cars was not even on the horizon.

Used BEVs were 25-30% more expensive than ICE cars and while supply was limited, those early adopter drivers were happy to pay a premium.

But then prices fell as discounted new and nearly new used BEVs were pushed into the market, which coincided with rising volumes of two and three-year ex-PCP, leasing and salary sacrifice BEVs. This caused prices to crash by over 30% in 2023 and suddenly used prices of BEVs and ICE cars started moving more closely together as supply exceeded demand.

From Q1 2024 the gap became even closer with price parity being reached on many cars and some BEVs prices even fall below their equivalent ICE model.

We have published a white paper which tracks the used retail car prices of all fuel types from 2020 to 2024, and importantly the highs and lows of used BEVs.

This includes our INDICATA data which tracks used prices of five popular BEVs from Citroen, MG, Vauxhall, Peugeot and Hyundai against their equivalent ICE models between January 2023 and the end of March 2024.

This analysis in particular shows the split in the market between the brands that have already built up a strong BEV reputation with drivers prepared to pay for them rather than ICE cars, and those that are playing catch up.

Price parity spells great news for the growth in popularity of BEVs as they are now at a comparable price to petrol and diesel models when they sit on the forecourt rather than commanding a large premium as they did in 2022. Which car the consumer buys then depends on their specific circumstances such as their annual mileage or where they live and whether they have access to charging at home.

In the case of Peugeot 208 BEV and petrol models, prices were identical at the end of March 2024 and the Corsa BEV was worth more than the equivalent diesel model by around £7,000 from January 2023. But, as of March 2024, the diesel Corsa was worth £16,000 and the Corsa BEV £15,250, which reflects how far market prices can move on certain EVs in a short period of time.

The Citroen C4 BEV reached price parity with its diesel equivalent in May 2023 at £17,400 but prices have continued to fall. As of March 2024, BEVs were worth £14,200 against £16,200 for the diesel.

Meanwhile, Hyundai’s reputation with selling well specified, good value, longer range BEVs means they are worth nearly five thousand pounds more than the petrol equivalent. MG has also shown its reputation for value, specification and a healthy range which has set its ZS BEV apart from its petrol equivalent by £1,250.

The achievement of price parity between BEVs and ICE cars marks a significant milestone for the automotive market. Although decisions on purchasing BEVs versus ICE cars still depend on individual circumstances, such as annual mileage and access to home charging infrastructure.

Manufacturers, dealers, and policymakers must continue to adapt to these changes by investing in electric vehicle technologies, expanding charging networks, and supporting initiatives that promote BEV adoption. This also presents numerous opportunities for growth, innovation, and leadership in the emerging electric vehicle market.

Download the full price parity white paper: INDICATA Market Watch – UK White Paper - INDICATA.