Consumer fatigue with new and used car pricing is impacting their rate of sales, with top-selling new models selling 29.2 percent slower and popular used cars selling 26 percent slower than last year. Overall used cars sales are faster by 6.1 percent, but the average new car is selling 25.7 percent slower, according to a new study by iSeeCars.com.
- The average used car sells in 49 days, which is 6.1 percent faster than a year ago, but new cars have slowed by 25.7 percent
- The Tesla Model S is the slowest-selling used vehicle, taking an average of 88.3 days to sell
- New and used electric cars now take twice as long to sell despite massive price drops over the past year
- The Tesla Model Y is the fastest-selling used EV, taking an average of 47.6 days to sell
- Popular cars in the new and used market sell slower as consumers look outside mainstream models to find lower prices
“Used car prices were initially driven up by a lack of new car inventory,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “Now there are plenty of new cars on dealer lots, but consumers aren’t rushing out to buy them. The new car average time-to-sale is down by more than 25 percent even as used cars are selling 6.1 percent faster. This shows buyers are continuing to seek value in the used car market – despite a wide range of new car options.”
Electric vehicles sales have slowed to a crawl, with new EVs moving from 25.2 days to sell to 50 days over the past year. Used EVs are selling even slower, shifting from an average of 26.4 days a year ago to 57.8 days now, a 120 percent increase. These EVs are selling slower despite major price drops over the past year.
“The good news for electric vehicle buyers is that EVs are both cheaper and harder to sell in 2023, putting pressure on automakers and dealers to move them in a market that appears to have lost interest,“ said Brauer. “Both new and used EVs are taking more than 50 days to sell on average, meaning it takes more than twice as long for dealers to find EV buyers compared to a year ago.”
Used Car Pricing and Days to Sell
Lower used car prices and faster sales indicate ongoing interest in used cars as prices moderate. Consumers still need to replace their aging vehicles with more recent used cars, and many have been waiting for lower prices since the pandemic drove costs up 3 years ago. Demand should stay strong for used cars as prices slowly drop over the next 6 to 12 months.
The Top 20 Fastest-Selling Used Cars
“It’s interesting that used cars, overall, are selling 6.1 percent faster than a year ago, but the most popular models are selling 26 percent slower,” said Brauer. “This suggests consumers are considering a wider range of used cars and seeking the best value wherever they can find it. Essentially, the strong grip previously held by popular used models is loosening.”
Most of the fastest-selling used cars are popular models priced at the heart of the market between $20,000 and $45,000. With nine Hondas and five Toyotas ranked in the top 20, it’s clear used cars shoppers are seeking trusted brands with a reputation for quality and reliability.
The Top 20 Slowest-Selling Used Cars
The slowest selling used cars are nearly all SUVs, though the Tesla Models S sedan tops the list.
“Many of the slowest-selling vehicles, including both Teslas, are older models in need of a redesign,” said Brauer. “But some, like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Land Rover Range Rover, are new to the market, making it surprising to see them languishing on dealer lots.”
Used EV Pricing and Days To Sell
Used electric vehicles have more than doubled their days to sell even as prices dropped by 38.9 percent over the past year. The market shift away from electric vehicles can be attributed to several factors, including stabilized fuel prices, higher interest rates that make financing an EV more expensive than a similarly sized gasoline model, and ongoing concerns over charging options amid inadequate infrastructure.
The Tesla Model Y is the fastest-selling used electric car, but it still sells slower than the average used car by approximately 10 days (38.9 days versus 47.6 days). Every other used EV averages more than 50 days to sell.
New Car Pricing and Days to Sell
New car prices have climbed slightly in the past year, but consumer interest has fallen off after years of restricted new car supply. The higher pricing shows dealers are still trying to maximize profit on new models, but they are having to work harder to sell them.
The Top 20 Fastest-Selling New Cars
The same pattern across all new cars is emphasized in the 20 fastest-selling models. Dealers continue to demand maximum pricing for popular models, but it’s taking them longer to find buyers willing to pay those prices. Still, at 22.7 average days on market, dealers are moving these vehicles relatively quickly and making a healthy profit when they do.
The fastest selling new models tend to be large three-row SUVs, reflecting strong demand for comfortable people movers. Two minivans, along with several compact SUVs, confirm the ongoing popularity of utility vehicles.
The Top 20 Slowest-Selling New Cars
The slowest selling new cars are well above the industry target of 60 days to sell, with the Jeep Cherokee, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Buick
twice that number.
“The lack of new car production during Covid ensured whatever cars did arrive on dealer lots moved quickly,” said Brauer. “But new car production is essentially back to normal, and we’re seeing plenty of cars sitting on dealer lots for an extended period.”
New EV Pricing and Days To Sell
In terms of pricing, new electric vehicles are holding up better than used models. But like used EVs, they are proving far more difficult to sell compared to a year ago. Consumers are weighing their EV options more carefully against cost and charging concerns, suggesting growing EV market share could prove more difficult than originally planned.
“Seeing an older EV model like the Nissan Leaf selling slowly isn’t surprising, but seeing new-to-market models like the Mercedes-Benz EQS and Subaru Solterra is,” said Brauer. “There are far more new EVs to choose from today than there were a year ago, but this has rapidly elevated competition between electric vehicles, making it more challenging for each model to find a buyer.”
New and Used Cars in the Top 50 Metro Areas
The top 50 US metro areas experienced a range of changes. Used cars had the largest improvement in average days on market in Cincinnati, OH, and the largest slowdown in Fresno-Visalia, CA. For new cars, Oklahoma City was the market with the largest improvement, while Birmingham, AL, had the largest slowdown.
iSeeCars analyzed over 228,000 new and used car sales (1- to 5-year-old used cars) from July 2023. The number of days that each car was listed for sale on iSeeCars.com was aggregated at the model level, and the average days on market for each was mathematically modeled. Heavy-duty vehicles, models no longer in production prior to the 2022 model year (for used cars), and low-volume models were excluded from further analysis.
iSeeCars.com is a data-driven car search and research company that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, including the iSeeCars VIN Check report and Best Cars Rankings. iSeeCars has saved users over $406 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.