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SMMT reports first used car market growth since 2017

Date: 14 November 2019   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Used car sales in the UK rose year-on-year in the third quarter of 2019, following nine straight quarters of decline, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

It says there were 2,076,382 transactions between July and September, 18,925 more than during the same period in 2018, meaning a 0.9% increase.

According to the SMMT, demand for diesel cars rose by 1.4% - in contrast to continued steep falls in sales of new diesel cars - while used petrol car sales were down by 0.2%.

Sales of used plug-in electric and hybrid cars were up by 13%, though still only took a 1.8% share of the overall market.

For the whole year to date, the used car market is now down by 0.8%, with 51,785 fewer transactions than in 2018.

Referring to the latest figures, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "This growth, following a prolonged period of decline, is encouraging and it's great to see a growing appetite for plug-in and hybrid models as they start to filter down to the used market.

"However, ongoing economic uncertainty and growing confusion over local clean air zones make it difficult to predict the future.

"To make meaningful environmental gains, we need to get more of the latest, lowest emitting cars on to our roads replacing older ones quickly - and that means delivering the right conditions and policies to give new and used buyers confidence to invest in the vehicles that best suit their driving needs and budgets."