First hit was the housing market, and now motorists are increasingly feeling the pain of the credit crunch with hikes in car tax and soaring fuel costs.
Figures from eBayMotors.co.uk reveal that concerns about the economy and the environment are driving British motorists to opt for hybrid cars and conversion kits.
Savvy motorists are choosing to make minor repairs at home, with sales of auto parts also up. Creative commuters are also finding ingenious, alternative modes of transport to keep costs and emissions to a minimum.
- Sales of Hybrid Cars have seen massive growth on the site; despite being relatively new to market. There are currently hundreds listed on eBayMotors.co.uk. Sales of engine conversion kits were up almost 300% over the summer months
- LPG vehicles were among the top ten most searched for items on eBay.co.uk in July 2008
- Sales of alternative methods of transport are also doing well. Bikes, skateboards and roller skates/blades have all gone through the roof in the last 3 months. Bikes sales rose 210% in the last week, as the Olympic goldrush continues to drive cycling enthusiasm, and skateboards are up 440% in the last 2 months
- More unusual methods of transport are also booming on eBay. Pogo sticks (up 100% in the last month), unicycles (up 167% in the last month) and the king of retro travel, the Sinclair C5 are all selling well too. Sales of the 80s electric vehicle have increased by 280% in the last month and they are currently selling for an average of £68
eBay data also shows that motorists are increasingly researching resale values online before purchasing second-hand vehicles. The VW Golf has emerged as the most popular car on eBayMotors.co.uk, sealing its reputation as one of the best cars on the market for resale potential.
As online car sales boom, this month saw the sale of the three millionth vehicle on eBayMotors.co.uk. Barry and Rhonda Sparks in King’s Lynn, Norfolk bought a 2007 Volkswagen Golf Diesel from the site. The sale marks a major milestone for eBay Motors, which launched in the UK in 2001 and now has over 1.3 million live listings at any time. Despite the wider automotive industry reporting a fall in year-on-year sales, eBay Motors sales are up 12% on last year. On the site, a vehicle currently sells every minute, a car every two minutes and a motorbike or scooter every four minutes.
Barry Sparks comments: “We found the perfect car on eBay and bought from Autoquake, an established dealer. It was easy, no need to trudge around dealerships, just a couple of clicks and I had the perfect car for a great price.”
Most popular buys on eBayMotors
- VW Golf is the best-selling car model on eBay Motors
- Ford, BMW and Mini are the most popular among car brands on eBay Motors
- Triumph makes the most popular bikes on eBay Motors, followed by BSA, Honda, BMW and Norton
- Rob is the most popular number plate followed by Big, Gaz, Dan and Paul
Regional motoring trends
Across the country, eBay has identified hot spots of online buying and selling activity over the past year:
- Residents of Luton buy the most cars, during 2007/2008 they spent over £14m on new motors
- Savvy motorists in Bristol spend the most on auto parts – almost £14.5m in the past year
- People in Bradford sell the most cars and motor parts. During 2007/08 the city’s residents sold over £7m worth of vehicles and £3.6m worth of parts
- The residents of Bradford also bought the most Motorbikes, spending over £10m
Fast Facts about eBay Motors:
- In 2007, more than £1.5bn worth of vehicles, parts and accessories were bought and sold on eBayMotors.co.uk
- A Lotus Esprit Turbo sold for 50p in June 2005 – the lowest price ever paid for a car on eBay Motors
- The highest price ever paid for a car on eBay Motors in Europe was CHF1,200,050 (£540,000) for a Ferrari Enzo
Celebrity items previously listed on eBayMotors.co.uk include:
The Dalai Lama’s Land Rover
Freddie Mercury’s Volvo
David Beckham’s first car and, a year later, his prized BMW
Most popular car brands on eBayMotors.co.uk in 2007/08 1. Ford 2. Vauxhall / Opel 3. Volkswagen 4. Peugeot 5. Renault 6. BMW 7. Rover MG 8. Toyota 9. Land Rover/Range Rover 10. Mercedes Benz