According to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the UK’s used car market grew by 11.5 percent to 7,530,956 transactions in 2021. Demand for used battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) hit record levels.
Demand for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) grew by 119.2 percent to 40,228, while plug-in hybrid electric vehicles grew by 75.6 percent to 56,861 transactions. Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) transactions also rose by 50.3 percent to 137,639, which is also a new high.
Growth was driven by an increasing number of ultra-low and zero-emission models filtering through to second owners.
Used petrol and diesel powertrain transactions, meanwhile, increased by 10.7 percent and 9.8 percent respectively, with a combined 7,277,291 units changing hands. This meant that even with record demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles, 96.6 percent of all used car sales were still either petrol or diesel models.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “It’s good to see the used car market return to growth, even if activity is still below where we were pre-pandemic. With the global shortage of semiconductors set to ease later this year, releasing the squeeze on new car supply, we expect more of the latest, cleanest and zero emission models to become available for second owners.
“The demand for personal mobility has undoubtedly increased during the pandemic, so it’s vital we have healthy new car sales to drive fleet renewal and the used car market if we are to improve air quality and address climate change.”