Sunshine boosts convertibles into top 10 fastest sellers, finds Auto Trader

The belated arrival of the British summer has sparked a renewed interest in convertibles, propelling them into the top 10 fastest-selling used cars, according to the latest data from Auto Trader.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class convertible (petrol, 3-5 years) and the sporty Mazda MX-5 RF (petrol, 3-5 years) are now selling in around 16 days on average. This marks the first appearance for convertibles among the fastest sellers in 2024, following the wettest spring since 1986.

Despite the resurgence, convertible demand is still down 5.6% compared to June 2023, which was the hottest on record. This year’s cooler June, influenced by an Arctic jet stream, has dampened the usual summer spike in convertible sales.

SUVs, however, continue to dominate the market. The Mercedes-Benz GLC (diesel, 1-3 years) has emerged as the UK’s fastest-selling used car, taking just 11 days to leave forecourts—three times faster than the national average of 29 days. Overall, SUVs are selling in about 27 days.

Auto Trader’s data, based on around 85 million visits last month, shows that used cars are currently selling three days faster than in June last year. Demand for used cars is up approximately 13% year-on-year.

Volume models are moving in about 28 days, versus 30 for premium marques. Middle-aged used cars (3-5 years) are the quickest to sell, averaging 26 days on the market, while cars under a year old linger the longest at 35 days. This is partly due to significant discounts on new cars, particularly electric vehicles. Since June last year, discounts on new cars have risen from 6.4% to 8.8%, with nearly 80% of new cars offering some level of discount.

Regionally, Scotland is leading with the fastest average speed of sale, with used cars selling in just 24 days—five days quicker than the national average and eight days faster than London, where cars take 32 days to sell.

Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s data & insights director, commenting, said: “The speed at which used cars sell is an accurate barometer of the market’s strength, and our data suggests it remains robust as we enter the summer months. While a high-level view might suggest convertibles are underperforming, a closer look reveals many models bucking the trend with the arrival of better weather.”


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