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UK used car sales fall in Q3 but 2017 market holding steady, says SMMTBack

  • Used car sales fall in Q3, down -2.1% to 2.1 million.
  • More buyers opt for electric and diesel cars, with demand up 66.4% and 4.2% respectively.
  • Overall year-to-date sales steady, up 0.1% to more than 6.3 million units.

The UK’s used car market declined for a second consecutive quarter in Q3, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 2,102,078 second hand cars changed hands from July to September, representing a fall of -2.1%. Year-to-date, the UK used car market remains at record levels after a bumper first quarter, with more than 6.3 million buyers opting for a used car in the first nine months of 2017 – a 0.1% increase.

In Q3, superminis extended their reign as the most popular vehicle segment, taking a third of the market (33.6%). However, SUVs and minis were the only segments to show growth – up 11.2% and 1.3% respectively, reflecting new car market trends.

Silver continued to be Britain’s number one used car colour, closely followed by black, which – following new car buying patterns – grew its appeal by 0.8%. Blue, grey and white made up the rest of the top five used car colours.

In Q3 more motorists also took advantage of the wide range of alternatively fuelled hybrid and electric cars now entering the second hand market, with registrations rising 17.0% to 25,196 units. Pure electric vehicles, in particular, proved increasingly popular, with sales up 66.4%. And while petrol sales fell 6.5%, demand for diesels remained healthy, rising 4.2%. In the year to date, more than 2.5 million used diesel cars have changed hands.


Posted by Sue Robinson on 17/11/2017