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Used electric car sales more than double as pre-owned car boom continues

Used car sales saw a 5.1% year-on-year increase in the first quarter of 2022, with 14,586 second-hand electric cars changing hands

2016 Tesla Model S - cornering

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed that the UK’s used car market is continuing to grow in 2022, with electric car sales taking a larger share than ever. Overall used car sales in the first quarter of this year increased by 86,596 units compared to the same period in 2021 - a 5.1% increase.

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Of the 1,774,351 used cars sold in Q1 2022, 14,586 were electric vehicles - a year-on-year increase of 7,961 - bringing overall market share up to 3.6%. Electrified models are increasingly popular used purchases on the whole, with plug-in hybrid and conventional hybrid sales up by 35.3% and 28.8% respectively. 

Despite this, pure-combustion engined cars continue their market stronghold, with 96.2% of used sales being petrol or diesel models - the popularity of new electrified cars is yet to trickle down to second hand forecourts. 

Superminis remained the most popular used purchases at the start of this year, holding 32.6% market share. Luxury saloon and MPV sales plunged by 3.4% and 7.5% respectively, and black proved the most popular paint colour, adorning the bodywork of one in five used cars sold. 

Despite slipping down the new car sales charts, the Ford Fiesta is the most popular used car of 2022 so far, with 73,851 units sold. The Vauxhall Corsa is the second best-seller, followed by the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus

The supply of new cars continues to be strangled by the global semiconductor shortage, which has slowed the production and increased lead times for the latest models. This is a primary cause for the used car market boom, as buyers opt for cheaper and more readily available pre-owned models instead. The knock-on effect of this strong demand, however, is high used car prices across the market.

Looking to make your own used EV purchase? Check out our list of the best options...

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