Used car market 'electrifying' as EV sales soar in second quarter

More than 1.8 million second-hand cars changed hands in the second quarter of this year, according to the SMMT
More than 1.8 million second-hand cars changed hands in the second quarter of this year, according to the SMMT

THE used car market in the UK rose by 4.1 per cent during the second quarter of this year, with more than 1.8 million units changing hands, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The increase equates to an additional 72,583 transactions compared with the same period in 2022, reflecting sustained growth in the new car market and improving availability.

The easing of supply chain disruptions has driven sales growth in every month so far this year and, although the second quarter market remains 9.9 per cent below 2019 levels, its recovery continues apace.

Used battery electric vehicle (BEVs) sales soared by 82 per cent to 30,645 units and now make up 1.7 per cent of the market – a new record.

Double-digit growth also continued for plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and hybrids (HEVs), up 11.4 per cent to 18,437 units and 29.5 per cent to 53,634 units respectively.

The rising proportion of electrified vehicles meant that market share for conventionally powered cars fell to 94.3 per cent from 95.7 per cent last year, even though volumes of petrol and diesel cars saw growth of 2.5 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively.

Superminis remained the best-selling used vehicle type, making up 31.5 per cent of transactions and growing by 4.4 per cent to 576,980 units.

And black retained its position as the most popular colour choice for the 10th quarter in a row, representing more than one in five (21.3 per cent) transactions. This was followed by grey and blue with respective 16.9 per cent and 16.3 per cent market shares.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “It’s great to see a recharged new car sector supporting demand for used cars and, in particular, helping more people to get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle.

“Meeting the undoubted appetite for pre-owned EVs will depend on sustaining a buoyant new car market and on the provision of accessible, reliable charging infrastructure powered by affordable, green energy.

“This, in turn, will allow more people to drive zero at a price point suited to them, helping accelerate delivery of our environmental goals.”