Used car sales fell in Q2

Published:  10 August, 2022

Used car sales dropped by 18.8% in the second quarter of 2022, according to the latest figures from the SMMT, although used battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales were actually up 57.1%, reaching 16,782.

Overall, 1,759,684 vehicles were sold in the used market during the three-month period, 407,820 down on the same period in 2021. Q2 2021 saw very high used sales due to the easing of COVID-restrictions, and compared with Q2 2019, Q2 2022 was 13.5% down.

There was a knock-on effect from the ongoing semiconductor shortage as well, which has been impacting the used market.

The increase in BEV sales saw the segment double its market share to 1.0%. Plug-in held saw 1.0% growth, holding 0.9% of the market. However, hybrids fell by 4%, taking 2.4% of the market. Used petrol and diesel vehicles took up 95.6% of sales.

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes 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.”

NFDA Chief Executive Sue Robinson observed: “The NFDA expects used car values to remain strong as the supply of good quality used cars are still lower than normal. Current new car volumes are restricting the number of part-exchange vehicles reaching the market that would normally help supply dealer forecourts, and at the same time some consumers needing a car quickly are turning to the used car market to source their next vehicle.”

AA Cars CEO James Fairclough said: “Though the supply problems in the new car market are finally starting to ease, another factor could boost the used market in the coming months; Britain’s rapidly slowing economy.”

LKQ Euro Car Parts Andy Hamilton added: “Whether or not more used vehicles are changing hands than in previous years doesn’t change the fact that the UK car parc is ageing, especially as supply issues continue to frustrate order fulfilment in the new car market.

“This, combined with more drivers dropping out of dealership servicing earlier in search of a more affordable service, means there’s a real opportunity for independent garages to grow their share of the aftermarket.

“We know that independents provide better customer service and a better experience than the dealerships. Spreading the word locally and investing in a credible online presence is key for those looking to win new customers.

“At the same time, prioritising training and equipment is key to garages looking to enhance their capabilities and widen their proposition, especially as today’s data reiterates increased demand in the used plug-in market.”

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