Used car market on the skids

The UK’s used car market shrank by 18.8% during the second quarter of 2022, with 1,759,684 transactions taking place.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported that 407,820 fewer vehicles changed hands compared with the same period last year.

Declines were recorded in each month, with falls in April, May and June of 16.8%, 20.9% and 18.6% respectively. As a result, the market is down 8.3% year to date on 2021, and 12.8% on pre-pandemic 2019.

However, battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales rose 57.1% to reach 16,782 units, doubling market share to one per cent, while plug-in hybrids held relatively stable with one per cent growth and 0.9% of the market. Hybrids (HEVs), meanwhile, declined by four per cent with 2.4% of the market. As a result, used petrol and diesel vehicles remained dominant, totalling 1,682,280 units and accounting for 95.6% of sales.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “It was inevitable that the squeeze on new car supply would filter through to the used market. Despite this, Britain’s used car buyers clearly have a growing appetite for the latest low and zero emission cars, and we need a thriving new car market to feed it. The next Prime Minister must create the conditions to drive consumer confidence, especially in EVs, and the fleet renewal necessary to meet our decarbonisation goals.”