The used market will be slower to react than the new one, says SMMT chief Mike Hawes
Sales of diesel cars in the used market have grown by 4.2% in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, despite an almost 30% slump in diesel sales in the new car market last month.
Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that a decline of 2.1% in the past quarter across the entire used market is contradicted by the buoyancy of second-hand diesel sales.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes highlighted the deals available in the used car segment, but clarified that, even though this market echoes the new market, it is often slower to react. “As demand in the new car market cools, used car sales normally follow suit unless there are significant tax changes affecting the new car market. Fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality, however, so we need economic and political certainty to boost buyer confidence and keep both markets moving.”
In the used market, sales closely mirror that of the new market. The Ford Fiesta led the pack with 97,879 purchases in the third quarter, followed by the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Corsa. Despite the Mercedes-Benz C-Class’s prevalence in the new car top 10, the BMW 3 Series was the most sought after premium model on the used market in the third quarter. The South East remains the biggest region for used cars, followed by the North West and West Midlands. London comes in at seventh.
Sales of used electric cars and hybrids are rising, with a 17% year-on-year increase in the third quarter. In particular demand are electric cars, sales of which were up 66.4%.
Across the year so far, the used market recorded a small increase of 0.1%, with 6.3 million buyers going for used cars between January and October.
In the month of October, overall new car registrations dropped by 12% to 158,192 units. Sales of new hybrids and electric cars, however, increased by 36.9% in that period.
Used diesel market buoyant despite new car sales slump