Used car market down in UK down in Q3 while electric vehicle (EV) sales hit record high 

According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the UK’s used car market fell for the second consecutive quarter this year, declining by 12.2% over the three months of July to September. Electric vehicles (EVs), however, bucked this trend. 

Used battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales reflected the growth in the electrified new car market as activity rose 44.1% to 16,775 transactions. This brings the year-to-date total up to 48,032. 

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This shows that the transition to zero emissions motoring is continuing to grow even in used markets. It not only offers a cheaper way to transition to an electric vehicle but also offers the opportunity to avoid waiting lists for new cars because the current demand is so high.

The market for used hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) also grew 2.5% in the quarter with 41,479 cars finding new owners. This takes the yearly total so far to 119,722. Plug-in hybrid (PHEV) transactions, meanwhile, fell by 5.8% to 13,899 in the third quarter of the year but remain up 7.1% since January at 44,724.

It means that, driven by an ever-growing choice of zero emission capable models reaching the used car arena, combined transactions for electrified vehicles reached 4.0% market share in the third quarter. This is up from 3.3% a year earlier.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executivesaid: “Given the short supply of new cars due largely to sustained chip shortages, a declining used car market comes as little surprise, although it’s great to see a growing number of used buyers able to get into an electric car. 

“The demand is clearly there and to feed it we need a buoyant new car market, which means giving buyers confidence to invest. Next week’s Autumn Statement is an opportunity for the government to make a long-term fiscal commitment to zero emission motoring.

“This includes adequate public charging infrastructure, which, especially given the economic headwinds, would go a long way to stimulating the market and delivering both economic and net zero progress.”

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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