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2022 started with used car market growth, SMMT reports

Date: 10 May 2022   |   Author: Sean Keywood

The UK used car market grew by 5.1% year-on-year during the first quarter of 2022, according to newly-published figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

However, the figures do show a slowdown as the quarter progressed, with a 17.7% increase in January followed by a 7.4% increase in February and a 6.8% decline in March.

Although the quarter was up overall compared with the same period in 2021, when Covid-19 lockdown measures were in place, Q1 this year was still down by 12.2% compared with pre-pandemic 2019.

This year did see a record Q1 for used battery EV sales, which more than doubled from 6,625 to 14,586, a rise of 120.2%. Plug in hybrids and hybrids also changed hands in greater numbers than the year before, rising by 35.3% to 14,433, and 28.8% to 35,007 units respectively.

Despite this growth, petrol and diesel powertrains continued to dominate the used market, representing 96.2% of used sales, or 1,707,135 units.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "With the new car market hampered by ongoing global supply shortages, growth in the used car market is welcome, if unsurprising especially given we were in lockdown last year. 

"Electric car sales are energising the market, with zero emission vehicles starting to filter through in larger numbers to consumers looking forward to driving the latest and greenest vehicles. 

"Although there is some way to go before we see the recent growth in new EVs replicated in the used market, a buoyant new car market will be vital to help drive fleet renewal which is essential to the delivery of carbon savings."