Record number of used car sales in the first quarter of 2017

Motors | Published:

More than 2.1 million used cars were sold in the UK in the first quarter of 2017 – representing a 3.4 per cent increase over Q1 2016

There was a bumper start to the year for the UK used car market with more than 2.1 million cars sold in the first quarter.

According to new statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the record figure of 2,133,956 cars sold represents a 3.4 per cent increase on the same quarter in 2016.

Despite the current controversy surrounding diesel engines, pollution and possible government scrappage schemes, used diesel car sales were up 5.6 per cent on the corresponding period last year. Of the 851,569 used diesel cars sold in the first three months of the year, one in five were the latest low-emission Euro 6 models.

Elsewhere, there was a sharp increase of 43.2 per cent in the number of second-hand alternatively fuelled hybrid, electric and hydrogen cars changing hands. The 21,320 units sold accounted for one per cent of the total used market, compared with 0.7 per cent last year.

Superminis remained the most popular car, responsible for more than a third of the used car market, and the mini segment was the fastest growing with sales up 13.2 per cent on the same quarter last year.

The most popular used model was the Ford Fiesta, followed by the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Corsa, Vauxhall Astra, Volkswagen Golf, BMW 3 Series, Renault Clio, Volkswagen Polo, Mini and Audi A3.

When it comes to colour, silver/aluminium remained the most popular with 463,959 used sales, with white cars recording the biggest increase – up 17 per cent to 221,895 units.


SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: “A buoyant used car market combined with strong residual values is good news for the sector, with motorists benefitting from the wide range of models and high-tech safety and connected features entering the market.

“Diesel cars remain as popular as ever, with consumers now able to take advantage of the low-emission Euro 6 diesels available in the used car market. It’s also positive to see sales of used electric and hybrid vehicles rise, reflecting what we have seen in the new car market.”

He added: “To ensure this growth is maintained and the benefits of low emission vehicles spread quickly throughout society, continued investment in infrastructure, incentives and a tax regime that encourages demand is essential.”

By Martin Robertshaw

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