There has been a significant increase in used car sales in the UK, driven by the growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs), according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Between April and June, 1.83 million cars changed hands, representing a 4.1% increase compared to the same period in 2022. This growth follows a similar year-on-year trend seen in the previous three months.
The SMMT attributes this surge in used car sales to the sustained growth in the new car market, which has improved availability. Sales of used battery electric cars have seen a notable increase of 81.8% year on year, with a market share of 1.7% and 31,000 transactions.
However, despite the overall increase in used car sales, the total figures still remain 9.9% below pre-pandemic levels. The CEO of SMMT, Mike Hawes, highlighted the positive impact of the refreshed new car sector on the demand for used vehicles, particularly electric ones. Hawes emphasized that meeting the demand for pre-owned EVs will depend on both the continued strength of the new car market and the accessibility of reliable charging infrastructure powered by affordable, green energy.
As wait times for new cars have eased, more individuals are opting to sell their current vehicles to purchase new models. The availability of these high-quality used cars has resulted in attractive deals for consumers. The best-selling used car in the UK during April and June was the Ford Fiesta, with 75,000 transactions. Ford recently ended production of the Fiesta at its factory in Cologne, Germany, with plans to make room for increased EV production.