The used market will be slower to react than the new one, says SMMT chief Mike Hawes
15 November 2017

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.

Related stories:

BMW 3 Series review

Mercedes-Benz C-Class review 

Ford Fiesta review

Our Verdict

Seat Arona

Seat is on a roll but can the Arona, its new junior SUV, cut it in such an ultra-competitive class?

Join the debate

Comments
1

6 December 2017

One-tune Hawes banging on with his fleet renewal crap again, but he's a lying bastard.  The SMMT don't give a shit about the environment, in five years, possibly less, this rent-a-quote scumbag will be telling folk to scrap the cars he is currently touting.

The situation is crying out for decisive action to legislate in favour of longevity for existing cars, limiting the option for individuals to buy brand new cars, and/or financial incentives for keeping older cars running longer, such as massive subsidies for MOT repairs on cars over seven or eight years old to assist less well-off families.  That makes more sense than the situation we have now, where the tax rules favour company cars and push up garage labour rates for private motorists, many of whom are on a tight budget, and who can't claim it back as a business expense.

Throwaway culture is horrendous is many areas of modern life, but cars use so many resources in design, materials, testing,  manufacture, transportation, the whole process, there is so much invested in each one that we must ensure their longevity and get the maximum return on that investment by keeping them going.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week