SMMT data reveals record Q1 for used car market
It was a bumper start to 2017 for the used car industry, with data published earlier this month by the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) revealing a record number of vehicle sales during the first quarter.
A total 2,133,956 used cars were purchased from January to March; an increase of 3.4% compared with the same period in 2016. This figure represents the largest-ever volume of sales recorded in the first quarter.
Diesel and petrol car sales both saw steady growth, at 5.6% and 1.6% respectively. Of the 851,569 used diesel cars that changed hands during Q1, one-fifth were the most recent low emission Euro 6 models.
Alternatively-fuelled hybrid, hydrogen and electric cars are proving increasingly popular among motorists, the data showed, with registrations in the used car market jumping by 43.2% to total 21,320. Still, these cars made up just 1% of the market, up from 0.7% in 2016.
Superminis continued to be motorists’ most popular choice of car, accounting for over one-third of the market. At the same time, the mini segment witnessed the quickest growth, with sales rising by 13.2% compared with Q1 last year.
In terms of colour, silver cars remained the top choice with 463,959 units sold; however, that’s 2.1% down on last year’s figures, suggesting that their popularity may be fading. White cars, meanwhile, saw the largest growth, with 17.1% more sold compared with last year. This rise reflects the trend witnessed in the new car industry in recent years.
Commenting on the results, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “A buoyant used car market combined with strong residual values is good news for the sector, with motorists benefitting from the wide range of models and high-tech safety and connected features entering the market.
“Diesel cars remain as popular as ever, with consumers now able to take advantage of the low emission Euro 6 diesels available in the used car market.”
Hawes added how it was good to see that used alternative-fuel vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, echoing what is happening in the new car sector.
“To ensure this growth is maintained and the benefits of low emission vehicles spread quickly through society, continued investment in infrastructure, incentives and a tax regime that encourages demand is essential,” Hawes concluded.
It’s great to see that the used car market is as strong as ever, and we certainly hope this trend will continue into Q2 and beyond.