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UK used car sales decline again in third quarter of 2017

Motors | Published:

Used car sales fell 2.1 per cent compared with Q3 2016, although year-to-date figures grew by 0.1 per cent

The UK used car market fell by 2.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2017 when compared with the same time period last year, figures out today have revealed.

Industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said that 2,102,078 used cars swapped hands during the quarter, down from 2,148,050 in 2016’s third quarter. This marks the second consecutive quarter of decline for the used car market.

However, year-to-date figures grew by 0.1 per cent, thanks to a strong first quarter.

SMMT data
(SMMT)

Superminis maintained their position as Britain’s favourite used vehicle, with the Ford Fiesta being the most popular used car for July to September 2017, with 97,879 examples sold. Silver was the UK’s preferred colour.

Alternatively fuelled hybrid and electric vehicles experienced strong growth during the quarter, with registrations increasing 17 per cent to 25,196 units. Sales of used fully-electric vehicles alone rose by a considerable 66.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, demand for petrol-powered used cars fell by 6.5 per cent, while diesel rose by 4.2 per cent despite recent negative press.

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SMMT chief-executive Mike Hawes said: “The used car sector remains in good health as motorists take advantage of some great deals on cars – including some of the latest low-emission diesel and alternatively fuelled vehicles.

(SMMT)
(SMMT)

“However, as demand in the new car market cools, used car sales normally follow suit unless there are significant tax changes affecting the new car market.

“Fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality, however, so we need economic and political certainty to boost buyer confidence and keep both markets moving.”

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Simon Benson, director of motoring services at AA Cars, said: “A lack of consumer confidence has rippled out across the market but it’s reassuring to see that the confusion surrounding new diesel vehicles hasn’t hurt the sales of used diesel cars.

“This suggests that drivers who rely heavily on diesel – those driving frequent, long distances, for example – are instead turning towards the second-hand market.

(SMMT)
(SMMT)

“Dealers should consider this an opportunity to advise customers and help them identify the fuel type that’s right for their specific needs.”

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