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Used car market sees slight annual fall

Date: 13 February 2019   |   Author: Sean Keywood

UK used car sales were down by 2.1% in 2018, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

There were 7,945,040 transactions during the year - 167,980 fewer than in 2017, though the SMMT points out that this was still the third best year on record, and much better than the new car market.

Among the standout performers were alternatively-fuelled cars, which recorded a sales increase of 27%.

Diesel used car sales were up by 0.3% - in stark contrast to the steep decline seen for the fuel in the new car market - while petrol was down by 4.2%. 

A segment breakdown revealed a 9.3% increase in demand for SUVs, and a 2.3% rise for executive cars, with all other segments declining, though superminis remained the most popular used cars.

As in the new car market, the Ford Fiesta was the most popular model, with 360,868 used examples sold. 

Reacting to the figures, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "It's encouraging to see more used car buyers snapping up low-emission vehicles as supply grows - but those sales remain low as an overall proportion of the market.

"We still need the right policies and incentives from government to give new car buyers confidence to choose the cleanest petrol, diesel and electric models that best suit their needs, so that even more drivers can benefit from this exciting technology as it filters down to the used market in the coming years."