Sales of second-hand electrified cars are on the rise in the UK, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Despite a slight year-on-year overall decline in used car sales last quarter (largely the result of a boom this time last year as dealerships opened post-lockdown), the popularity of used electric and hybrid cars continued to grow.
A total of 14,182 plug-in hybrids changed hands last quarter, a 43.3% year-on-year rise, while sales of pre-owned battery-electric cars surged 56.4% to 14,990 units - the highest quarterly tally on record.
The SMMT attributes the hikes to "an ever-growing choice of new zero-emissions models coming on sale, for both new and used car buyers". Overall, plug-in cars now account for 1.4% of the used market, up from 0.9% this time last year.
Meanwhile, conventional petrol and diesel powertrains continue to dominate the market, accounting for 96.4% of all second-hand car transactions last quarter, although demand for each declined by 6.9% and 7.6% respectively, in line with a wider downward trend in the used market.
A total of 2,034,342 used cars changed hands last quarter, 134,257 fewer than in the same period last year. The SMMT notes that figures were particularly strong in the third quarter of 2020, however, as the easing of lockdown measures had "the market bounce back strongly".
The South East of England was the busiest region for used car sales, with 292,049 taking place, followed closely by the North West, West Midlands and East. Scotland recorded 166,941 used car sales, while 107,315 cars changed hands in Wales.
SMMT CEO Mike Hawes noted that record sales in the second quarter cancel out the recent decline, so "the market remains up year to date".
But he added: "Given the circumstances, with the global pandemic causing a shortage of semiconductors needed to produce new vehicles, undermining the new car market, used transactions were always going to suffer too. This is particularly worrying as fleet renewal – of both new and used – is essential if we are to address air quality and carbon emissions concerns."