Used car sales to seven million mark

The UK’s used car market grew by 5.1% to 7,242,692 transactions in 2023, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Four straight quarters of growth saw sales increase by 351,915 compared to 2022.

Across the year, sales of used battery electric cars (BEV) almost doubled, rising 90.9% to a record 118,973 units and a 1.6% share of the overall market, up from 0.9% in 2022.

Sales of hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars were also strong, up by 40% and 25.1% respectively and, collectively, electrified vehicles represented 5.6% of the market – up from four per cent in 2022.

Diesel and petrol, however, remained the most dominant fuel types, with a total of 6,827,466 units changing hands – 94.3% of the overall market.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive,said: “A healthy new car market is key to driving choice in the used sector and it’s great to see record numbers of second and third owners benefitting from the growing availability of electric vehicles. The demand is there, but to sustain it we must enable every motorist to make the switch. The upcoming Budget is a prime opportunity for government to do just that – halving VAT on new EVs, while making public charging as easy and affordable as plugging in at home, would ensure a faster and fairer transition for all, giving the UK a green economic boost.”