Robin Roberts reports on the latest sales figures for secondhand cars in Britain…
The SMMT said used car sales rose 0.9% in Q3 after nine quarters of decline.
Some 2,076,382 transactions took place between July and September, 18,925 more than the same period in 2018.
Demand for diesel models was up 1.4% in the quarter with 858,442 changing hands, while petrol sales were flat with a slight drop of -0.2%.
Plug-in electric and hybrid models showed a solid increase of 13.0%, totalling 37,589 units and increasing their share of sales to 1.8% from 1.6% in Q3 2018.
Superminis remained the most popular segment, reflecting the trend in the new car market, with 684,929 changing hands, accounting for 33.0% of transactions. The lower medium and upper medium segments were the next most popular, with 27.0% and 11.7% shares respectively. Meanwhile, the dual purpose segment showed the largest percentage growth (15.2%) with 11.6% market share.
This means more than 6.1m used cars have been sold this year and plug-in electric and hybrid models showed a solid increase.
Seán Kemple, Director of Sales at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said, “As the motor industry battles economic slowdown, stagnating growth in used car registrations continue to reflect shaky consumer confidence. But while new car sales have had a tough year, this has been to the benefit of the used market as buyers look to cut costs.
“Demand for used alternative fuel vehicles is firmly in the fast lane as drivers are embracing greener options. Small and mid-size models are also on the up, with models like the MINI and Ford Focus popular in the used market. And whilst new diesel sales are rapidly approaching cliff-edge, there is no sign of used diesel demand hitting the brakes as it continues to perform steadily.
James Fairclough, CEO at AA Cars, added,“The new car market’s loss is proving the used market’s gain.
“As new car sales shrink, these robust used sales figures show many buyers are being strategic, and are seizing on the wide range – and quality – of second-hand cars currently for sale.
Supply is healthy and prices are often very competitive, with many dealer forecourts bristling with nearly-new models – which can offer strong value and are proving particularly popular.”
Most popular used models were: Fiesta, Corsa, Focus, Golf, Astra, BMW 3 Series, MINI, Polo, Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series.