Used car sales and values stable in 2019
12 February 2020
Author: Illya Verpraet
The used car market remained stable in 2019. Data from the SMMT shows sales were down just 0.1% on 2019, to 7.9m.
Though demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles rose 23.4%, sales of diesel and petrol cars held steady, with both down less than 1% on 2018.
Sales of pure electric vehicles grew by an impressive-sounding 21.8%, although this still only represented 0.2% of the market. When hybrids are counted, this share grows to a still rather disappointing 1.7% of all sales. 135,516 used hybrid and electric cars were sold in 2019, a growth of 23.4%.
The data shows that values remained firm as well, with the average sale price up 0.6% to £12,800, which is good news for fleets' residual values.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, "It is encouraging to see used car sales return to growth in the latter part of 2019 after a prolonged period of decline, and we need to see a similar rebound in new car sales if we are to meet environmental targets. A buoyant used car market is necessary to maintain strong residual values and, clearly, it is now outperforming the new car market.
"This does, however, suggest that weak consumer confidence and ongoing uncertainty over possible future restrictions on different vehicle technologies are causing some car buyers to hold off buying new models. This is delaying the fleet renewal we need now if we are to deliver immediate and continuous improvement in air quality and climate change."