INDICATA Europe report sees European dealer used car stock levels fall as prices and sales continue to rise

  • Dealer used car stocks fall by 5.8% from June to July 2021
  • Spain reports a 39.5% year-on-year sales rise amid consumers moving from new to used cars
  • VW Golf is Europe’s best-selling petrol and diesel used car under 4-years-old


Stocks of used left hand drive cars have been depleted by a major surge in sales during June according to the latest INDICATA Market Watch used car insights report.

Stock started June 2021 4.4% above June 2019 levels and at the end of the month had fallen by 2.6% below July 2019 levels, which was the best pre-Covid 19 year for annual comparisons.

Stock fell in 11 out of the 13 countries in the report by an average of 5.8% from June to the beginning of July with Turkey, Portugal and Poland suffering the worst reporting falls of 14.9%, 11.8 and 8.3% respectively. Only Denmark and Sweden experienced a small stock rise of less than 1.0%

With limited volume of ex-daily rental returns expected this year and with continued restricted new car supply due to semiconductor shortages dealers in some countries are struggling to get the right used stock which is impacting on sales. While this is causing prices to rise dealers are struggling to replace sold stock which is seeing forecourts working at reduced capacities.

European used car sales were 11.0% higher than the first half of 2019 which puts the stocking challenges into perspective and 22% higher year-on-year than 2020. Spain reported a 39.5% year-on-year used car sales increase as the negative impact of Covid-19 on tourism and the economy switched consumers from new to used cars. Spain’s new car market May YTD was 35.9% lower than the same period in 2019.

Italy, the UK, and Germany also reported used car sales rises in June of 17.2%, 17% and 16.2% respectively, while Denmark, Sweden and Poland reported a fall in sales.

Diesel and petrol used cars have seen the biggest stock turn of 8.0x and 7.6x respectively with the VW Golf taking the title of best-selling used diesel and petrol car in Europe at less than four years of age.Andy Shields INDICATA Business Unit Director

The best-selling hybrid was the Toyota C-HR followed by the Toyota Yaris whilst the Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 were Europe’s top-selling electric cars.

Meanwhile, the fastest-selling volume diesel and petrol vehicle under 4-years-old were both Vauxhall/Opel in the form of the Mokka X (21x stock turn) and Zafira (27x). The fastest-selling hybrid in June was the Toyota Auris with a 15x rate of stock turn and the MG ZS was the quickest-selling BEV with a 15x stock turn.

INDICATA Europe’s business unit director Andy Shields said: “Daily rental companies have long since tidied up their car fleets and there looks no sign of cars being de-fleeted any time soon. Leasing companies continue to extend contracts for fleets as they struggle to get hold of new cars which is adding to the dealer stocking problem. 

“As used prices rise dealers would love to be able to sell more used cars but in many cases can’t get hold of the stock they require and if they can they are paying considerably more for them than earlier in 2021. Used car vendors are much happier than used car buyers in the current market dynamic,” he added.