Record number of used cars bought in first half of year

Time 9:48 am, August 23, 2016

THE UK’s used car market grew by 7.9 per cent in the first half of 2016 to reach the highest number of sales since records began, according to new figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

A total of 4,181,042 used car transactions were made between January and June – the first time the market has surpassed four million units in the first half of the year.

Motorists in the south-east of England were responsible for the highest share of sales (14 per cent), followed by those in the north-west (10.2 per cent) and the West Midlands (9.8 per cent). Meanwhile, London was Britain’s used car capital, followed by Birmingham and Leeds.

April was the most popular time to buy a used car, when used car stock is particularly strong following March’s plate change, with more than three-quarters of a million (760,308) vehicles bought in this month. The most-sought-after age for a used car was between one and three years old, with these making up the biggest proportion of overall sales.

Reflecting the trend towards more compact driving seen in the new car sector, superminis were the most-sought-after body type, representing one in three transactions (33.9 per cent), with small family cars in second place, accounting for more than a quarter (27.2 per cent).

Silver was the most popular colour, with almost half a million cars changing hands so far this year, followed by black, chosen by one in 10 used buyers. Bolder colours were in also in demand, with yellow and gold, which had fallen in popularity in the new market, now featuring once again in the used car top 10.

The Ford Fiesta was the UK’s favourite used car, with nearly 60,000 sold so far this year. This was true of buyers in Cardiff, while Edinburgh’s best-selling used car was the Vauxhall Corsa, Londoners preferred the Ford Focus and car buyers in Belfast were more likely to opt for the Volkswagen Golf.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes, pictured, said: ‘The UK’s used car market is at its strongest ever, and that’s great news for buyers spoiled for choice with the latest advanced vehicle technology and attractive financing options.

‘The growth in the used car market has reflected the record demand for new cars in recent years, but future growth in high-cost purchases will depend on stable consumer and business confidence.’

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