EVs become the fastest-growing powertrain in used car market

The first quarter of 2024 has seen a 6.5 per cent increase in the used car market, which is the most successful start to a year in five years.

Electric vehicles are the fastest growing sector in the used car market.
Electric vehicles are the fastest growing sector in the used car market. (Danny Lawson/PA)

The used car market has grown by 6.5 per cent this year with nearly two million units sold in the first quarter, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Despite the growth, it is still down by 2.6 per cent pre-Covid levels but steady growth in the last 16 months shows that the used market is on the up.

An increase in battery-electric vehicles meant that in the first quarter of this year, demand for EVs was up more than two-thirds with 41,505 sold – holding a record market share of 2.1 per cent. EVs were also the fastest-growing powertrain in this sector, according to the SMMT.

Hybrids were up by 49.3 per cent with 74,502 cars exchanged while plug-in hybrids also grew by 42.5 per cent with 22,065 vehicles sold overall.

Conventional powertrains are still the most popular among buyers with petrol cars rising by 7.7 per cent with 1,130,396, while diesel was on the decline, falling by 1.3 per cent at 697,718.

However, combined, internal-combustion-engined cars equated to a total market share of 92.9 per cent giving a total of 1,828,114 units sold.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive said: “A reinvigorated new car market is delivering more choice and affordability for used car buyers and, increasingly, they are choosing to go electric.”

He added: “To enable even more drivers to enjoy the benefits of zero emission motoring, ensuring both supply and demand remains robust is essential. Incentivising new EV uptake and investing in a chargepoint network that is accessible, available and affordable to all drive the nation’s net zero transition.”

Superminis remained the most popular vehicle type with 640,711 units sold – an increase of 7.2 per cent – with the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa the most popular models in the first quarter of 2024 with 80,814 transactions for the former and 66,821 for the latter.