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Used car sales fall in Q3

Date: 15 November 2017

The UK's used car market declined for a second consecutive quarter in Q3, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Between July and September, 2,102,078 second-hand cars were sold, representing a fall of 2.1%.

Year-to-date, however, the market remains at record levels thanks to a bumper first quarter, with over 6.3 million buyers opting for a used car in the first nine months of 2017 - a 0.1% increase.

In the latest quarter, superminis remained the most popular vehicle segment, taking a third of the market (33.6%). However, SUVs and minis were the only segments to show growth, up 11.2% and 1.3% respectively. 

Meanwhile, silver continued to be Britain's number one used car colour, closely followed by black, with blue, grey and white making up the rest of the top five.

Petrol sales fell 6.5% during quarter three, while demand for diesels remained healthy, rising 4.2%. Alternatively fuelled hybrid and electric cars also had a good quarter, with registrations rising 17.0% to 25,196 units. Pure electric vehicles in particular proved increasingly popular, with sales up 66.4%. 

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, 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. 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."