More than eight million used cars sold in 2016 – a new UK record

More than eight million used cars sold in 2016 – a new UK record

BRITAIN’S used car market reached record levels in 2016 with 8.2 million vehicles finding new owners – an uplift of 7.3 per cent.

Meanwhile, 1.8 million used cars changed hands in the fourth quarter, with a 5.5 per cent rise in October making it the second busiest month since the switch to a biannual new car plate change – the busiest month being April of the same year.

The market reflected the changes in new car consumer tastes, with smaller car demand showing no sign of slowing.

The statistics were released today by the SMMT. Superminis were again the best-selling body type accounting for more than a third of all used car sales whilst transactions of city cars grew 11.5 per cent. Of all body types, however, SUVs’ popularity rose fastest – up nearly 17 per cent to take an 8.3 per cent share of the market.

Although petrol still leads as the used fuel type of choice with more than 4.6 million traded, its market share fell slightly by 1.5 per cent as alternatively-fuelled vehicle (AFV) and diesel demand enjoyed greater growth, again reflecting the shift in new car sales to diesel over the past decade or so. Used AFV registrations rose 32.5 per cent, while diesels increased 11.1 per cent and petrol transactions grew 4.7 per cent.

Britain’s best-selling used car remained the Ford Fiesta, closely followed by the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Corsa. Meanwhile, silver remained the number one used car colour choice ahead of black and blue, while brown entered the top 10 in place of gold.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘On the back of a record 2016 for UK new car registrations, it’s further good news that our used car market is in such good health.’

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