SMMT: Q3 used car market falls 2.1%

UK used car sales fell by 2.1% in the third quarter of 2017, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The total number of second-hand transactions fell from 2,148,050 in quarter three 2016 to 2,102,078 in the third quarter of 2017.

However, the overall market is so far up 0.1% on the previous year, with 6,338,188 used cars sold, compared to 6,329,092 this time in 2016.

Superminis were the most popular second-hand purchase, accounting for 33.6% of all sales. However, SUVs and minis were the only segments to show growth – up 11.2% and 1.3% respectively, similar to trends seen in the new car market.

The Ford Fiesta (pictured) was the UK’s best-selling used car with 97,879 models sold, followed by the Focus at 88,309 and the Vauxhall Corsa with 84,811.

Silver remained the most popular colour for used cars at 446,471 units, followed by black and blue.

Second-hand petrol car sales fell 6.5% but demand for diesels bucked the trend of the new car market and rose by 4.2%.

Despite the fledgling second-hand market for alternative fuel vehicles, used sales increased by 17% to 25,196 units – though this is still a fraction of the total market. Pure electric vehicles were increasingly popular, with sales up 66.4%.

“The used car sector remains in good health as motorists take advantage of some great deals on cars – including some of the latest low emission diesel and alternatively fuelled vehicles,” said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT.

“However, as demand in the new car market cools, used car sales normally follow suit unless there are significant tax changes affecting the new car market.

“Fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality, however, so we need economic and political certainty to boost buyer confidence and keep both markets moving.”