Currently reading: Used electric vehicle sales more than double in 2022
Figures show used market still dominated by petrol and diesel cars, however, with more than 96% of sales

A record number of used EVs were bought in the first quarter of 2022, with sales more than doubling compared with last year.

Figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that 14,586 used EVs were sold, up from 6625 in the same period in 2021 - a 120.2% rise.

Increases were also recorded for other types of electrified vehicles. Sales of used plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) increased by 35.3% to 14,433, while sales of used hybrids rose by 28.8% to 35,007. In total, electrified vehicles' 3.6% share of the total market was up from 1.6% in the first quarter of 2021.

Despite this rise in electrified vehicle sales, petrol and diesel vehicles continued to dominate the used market, representing 96.2% of sales, equating to 1,707,135 units. 

Overall, used car sales increased by 5.1% in the first quarter of 2022, with 1,774,351 transactions taking place - an additional 86,596 over the same period in 2021, when car showrooms were closed due to the pandemic.

The SMMT said that the rise this year could also be down to the current global shortage of semiconductors, which is hitting new car production, pushing buyers to buy used.

Chief executive Mike Hawes added: “With the new car market hampered by ongoing global supply shortages, growth in the used car market is welcome, if unsurprising, especially given we were in lockdown last year. 

“Electric car sales are energising the market, with zero-emissions vehicles starting to filter through in larger numbers to consumers looking forward to driving the latest and greenest vehicles. 

“Although there's some way to go before we see the recent growth in new EVs replicated in the used market, a buoyant new car market will be vital to help drive fleet renewal, which is essential to the delivery of carbon savings.”

The rise in EV ownership comes just a few weeks after the government announced that there are now 30,290 public EV chargers in operation in the UK - a 33% increase on the number available this time last year.

Will Rimell

Will Rimell
Title: Deputy news editor

Will is a journalist with more than eight years experience in roles that range from news reporter to editor. He joined Autocar in 2022 as deputy news editor, moving from a local news background.

In his current role as deputy news editor, Will’s focus is with Autocar and Autocar Business; he also manages Haymarket's aftermarket publication CAT.

Writing is, of course, a big part of his role too. Stories come in many forms, from interviewing top executives, reporting from car launches, and unearthing exclusives.

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