UK used car market recovered well from first coronavirus lockdown, quarterly figures show
10 November 2020
Author: Sean Keywood
The UK used car market grew by 4.4% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2020, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
A total of 2,168,599 transactions took place between July and September, with growth recorded in every month of the quarter.
The biggest monthly growth was in the number-plate change month of September, when transactions were up by 6.3%.
Quarterly increases were seen across all fuel types, headed by plug-in hybrids, for which transactions were up by 35.7%, and pure electric cars, up by 34.4%.
Petrol car transactions were up by 4.5%, and even much-maligned diesel saw a 2.6% increase.
The best-growing model segment was dual-purpose vehicles (SUVs), up by 16.6% to take a 13% market share, while the most popular segment remained superminis, which took 32% of the market with a 2% increase.
For the year to date, the overall used car market remains 17.5% down on 2019 due to the impact of coronavirus measures.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "With England entering a fresh lockdown, and tighter Covid restrictions in place across the rest of the UK, the car is playing an even more important role in keeping society moving as public transport becomes less attractive for many.
"It is encouraging to see used car sales returned to growth but, as the pandemic continues and outlets in many areas are being made to close again, the short-term outlook is less positive.
"Given these premises are often proven to be Covid-secure, we need them to re-open quickly to protect vital jobs and ensure no further delay to the fleet renewal necessary to deliver environmental improvements."