Skip advert
Advertisement

Used car market posts robust 2017 figures as EV sales surge

Over 8.1 million second-hand cars changed hands last year, with used electric car sales surging by 77 per cent

Dealer forecourt

The UK’s used car market remained in rude health last year, with 8.1 million second-hand models changing hands in 2017. That represents a drop of just 1.1 per cent on 2016 and is a marked contrast to the new car market, which was down 5.7 per cent over the same period.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The figures, released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and sourced from DVLA records, also show a huge increase in the popularity of used electric cars. These saw a 77.1 per cent increase in demand, with 10,199 second-hand EVs being bought in 2017.

• Best used cars to buy in 2017

And while vendors experienced a 5.1 per cent fall in sales in the final quarter, this wasn’t enough to stop 2017 being the second best year on record for used car sales, topped only by 2016.

In addition to the growing popularity of electric cars, sales of second-hand hybrids were up by 22.2 per cent in 2017. The market for used diesels, meanwhile, actually rose by 3.3 per cent in 2017, an opposite trend to last year’s new car sales figures, which showed a drop in diesel demand of roughly 17 per cent.

Used SUVs also rode high in 2017 with a 9.5 per cent increase in sales, while the popularity of superminis rose by 4.3 per cent. The news wasn’t all good though as, aside from a fractional increase (0.02 per cent) in the second-hand executive car market, all other used segments experienced a drop in popularity.

The South East of England saw the greatest proportion of used cars changing hands, with 1.2 million used cars sold there last year. Silver was the most popular colour on the second-hand market.

Commenting on the figures, Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT said: “While such healthy demand is reassuring, to keep it that way and accelerate renewal throughout the fleet – the fastest way to improve air quality – government must now restore confidence to the new car sector.

“Given the recent economic and fiscal uncertainty, particularly over diesel, consumers and businesses need clarity to encourage them to move out of their older vehicles and into newer, lower emission cars – whatever their fuel type.”

Now check out our 2017 Used Car Awards winners...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

When is a pothole not a pothole? Inconsistent council repair policies make bad situation worse
Pothole sign
News

When is a pothole not a pothole? Inconsistent council repair policies make bad situation worse

A new TV documentary shows how different councils operate on different parameters when it comes to deciding whether to fix a pothole
22 May 2024
UK self-driving car “revolution” incoming: new law allows autonomous vehicles by 2026
Tesla Model Y - interior
News

UK self-driving car “revolution” incoming: new law allows autonomous vehicles by 2026

A new law is set to bring self-driving cars to UK roads in two years and puts responsibility in the hands of manufacturers if there is an accident
20 May 2024
New EV grant brings £5k electric car discount… but only if you’re an Uber driver
Electric car hooked up to chargepoint
News

New EV grant brings £5k electric car discount… but only if you’re an Uber driver

Uber drivers in London can now save up to £22,000 off the price of a new EV as part of the firm’s push for electrification
20 May 2024
Cheap EV charging comes to public chargepoints via new ‘Plunge Pricing’ app
Octopus Energy’s Electroverse
News

Cheap EV charging comes to public chargepoints via new ‘Plunge Pricing’ app

Octopus’ ‘Plunge Pricing’ events promise to save electric car drivers an average of £6.50 per charge
17 May 2024

Most Popular

Renault Scenic review
Renault Scenic UK - front
In-depth reviews

Renault Scenic review

The Renault Scenic takes a pragmatic and polished approach to zero-emissions motoring
21 May 2024
Citroen C3 review
Citroen e-C3 - front
In-depth reviews

Citroen C3 review

A clever rethink of the small, affordable car theme, the C3 and its all-electric e-C3 twin have the potential to really shake up the market
22 May 2024
New Kia EV3 is a £30k electric car with a 372-mile range
Kia EV3 - front
News

New Kia EV3 is a £30k electric car with a 372-mile range

Kia expands its electric line up with the EV3 – taking plenty of inspiration from the flagship EV9
23 May 2024