Used car sales were down by 40.4% year-on-year in January, coinciding with the latest Covid-19 lockdown measures, according to market analyst Indicata.

It said the UK had suffered the biggest January sales fall out of 13 European markets analysed.

Indicata said that stock was turning at a slower rate for all car fuel types, although diesel was the quickest seller.

Hybrid car sales dropped by 9%, and pure EV sales rose by 15%, the latter the lowest rate of growth since Indicata started tracking. The firm warns of signs of EV oversupply in the UK and Europe impacting stock turn.

It said that overall dealer used car stock levels fell by 10.2% during January, with caution remaining about overstocking, as well as many franchised dealers leaving car buyers furloughed.

However, Indicata did say sales were still better in January than during the previous lockdown in November, while prices had risen by about 3% during the month.

Indicata group sales director Jon Mitchell said: “Looking at January in a positive way 60% of used car volumes were achieved despite the market being locked down and relying on click and collect.

“Already February sales have started to rise as franchised dealers come back into the market putting it into a good position ready for when lockdown three ends.”