Used car buyers turn to automatics

Automatics now make up as much as 72% of the used car market in parts of the UK, with their numbers bolstered by the increasing popularity of electric vehicles.

This is according to new research by AA Cars, which is the AA’s used car website.

Across the UK, automatics now make up 41% of the used cars for sale on the AA Cars site, up from 30% in 2020. The increasing availability of EVs on the second-hand market is likely to be contributing to these figures, as almost all EVs are automatic.

Brentford has the highest proportion of automatics for sale on the AA Cars platform, making up 72.2% of the town’s used car market. Chelmsford is second on the list, with 68.1% of its total used car stock.

James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars, said: “Car manufacturers have responded to the surging popularity of EVs by bringing out ever more advanced models, and there are now no fewer than 140 different plug-in models for sale in the UK. As more of these vehicles make their way into the second-hand market, we’re seeing a steady rise in the number of used automatics for sale – and in some areas autos now account for over 70% of the used market.

“Better availability and choice is the second-hand car market’s trump card right now, as the shortage of new cars for sale leads ever more drivers to choose a used model instead.”