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SMMT reports stable UK used car market

Date: 15 August 2018   |   Author: Sean Keywood

UK used car sales in the second quarter of 2018 were down by just 0.4% year-on-year, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 

A total of 2,093,429 cars changed hands - 8,725 fewer than in the same period in 2017.

There was a big increase in sales of alternatively-fuelled vehicles including hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles, which were up by 25.3% to 26,832.

Demand for diesel cars also rose, by 3.2%, with 868,573 sold - in stark contrast to plummeting demand for the fuel in the new car market.

Sales of used petrol cars fell by 3.3% - also in contrast to strong growth among new car buyers. 

Superminis remained the most popular market segment, accounting for 32.6% of sales, although this was a 2.6% fall year-on-year.

The biggest growth was in SUV and executive car sales, up by 10.7% and 3.9% respectively.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "It's great to see the used car sector remain in robust health as motorists take advantage of the exciting high-tech models filtering down from the new sector - including some of the latest low emission diesel and alternatively-fuelled vehicles.

"However, with used sales so closely reflecting the new car market, some cooling is expected over the coming months.

"Given fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality and reduce CO2, we need greater business and consumer confidence to keep both markets moving."