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Used EV prices are collapsing — and Tesla is the reason why

EV prices are collapsing more than those in the overall used car market.

This week’s government inflation data showed used car prices were falling and likely stabilizing to levels just above pre-pandemic pricing. It seems prices for used electric vehicles, however, are falling even faster.

According to auto research firm iSeeCars.com, used EV prices are collapsing more than those in the overall used car market. In the firm’s June 2023 report, the data shows that used EV prices have fallen by nearly 30% year over year, with price drops actually accelerating from 8.8% in January to 16.8% in March and to 29.5% in June. The firm analyzed transactions from over 1.8 million one- to five-year-old used cars from the June 2022 and 2023 time period to capture the results.

“A year ago, used EV prices were on the upswing, rising faster than the average used car,” said iSeeCars executive analyst Karl Brauer in the report. “Electric vehicle prices are now falling at nearly 10 times the rate of the average used vehicle, reflecting a clear shift in EV supply and demand.”

Used EV prices drops are accelerating, according to iSeeCars.com
Used EV prices drops are accelerating, according to iSeeCars.com (iSeeCars.com)

Meanwhile, the overall used car market is stabilizing according to iSeeCars.com, with overall prices down 3.6% year over year in June, following price drops of 2.9% in May and 3.6 % in April.

Tesla price cuts

The biggest reason behind the fall in used EV prices? Tesla’s (TSLA) massive price cuts earlier this year put extreme downward pressure on the used EV market, which is dominated by Tesla EVs like the Model 3 and Model Y.

“With Tesla cutting prices on new models its used EV values have tumbled. And because Tesla makes up the bulk of the used EV market the dramatic drop in Tesla values has impacted the entire category,” Brauer said.

Tesla Model 3 vehicles are seen for sale at a Tesla facility in Fremont, California, U.S., May 23, 2023. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Tesla Model 3 vehicles are seen for sale at a Tesla facility in Fremont, California, U.S., May 23, 2023. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (Carlos Barria / reuters)

Other factors pushing prices lower on the second-hand EV market include fuel prices stabilizing this year (hurting demand for EVs), rising interest rates, and price-conscious shoppers looking for better vehicle deals regardless of powertrain, Brauer said.

Looking deeper into the data, the top 10 models with the steepest price drops included six hybrid and electric vehicles, with Tesla occupying three of the top five slots with the Model 3 (30.5% drop), Model X (21.3% drop), and Model S (19.0% drop).

Used cars with the biggest price drops year over year
Used cars with the biggest price drops year over year (iSeeCars.com)

Conversely, used cars with the biggest overall price increases were traditional gas-powered cars led by the Mercedes-Benz SL convertibles, Fiat 500X crossover, Chevrolet Suburban, and two Porsche sportscars — the 911 convertible and 718 Cayman coupe.

Looking across metropolitan markets in the US, the data showed that the Miami market saw the steepest used car price drops at 8.1% year over year in June, followed by New York (6.9%) and Jacksonville, Florida, at 6.8%. Only Dallas, Salt Lake City, and San Antonio saw used car price appreciation across the 50 metro areas covered by iSeeCars.

The bottom line for used EV car buyers could be this: If you want a cheap Tesla EV, now might be your best chance to buy one. And don’t shy away from going across state borders to Florida or New York to buy one.

Pras Subramanian is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.

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