Used Car Sales Hold Firm in Q2 2018

Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that used car sales in the UK held firm in the second quarter of 2018, with the Ford Fiesta remaining the country’s most popular second-hand car.

In total 2,093,429 used cars were sold in the second quarter of the year, representing a slight fall of -0.4% (or 8,725 fewer cars) compared with the same period in 2017. Following the Fiesta (almost 93,000 of which were sold), the most popular models were the larger Ford Focus (84,036 sold), Vauxhall Corsa (81,710), Volkswagen Golf (69,002) and Vauxhall Astra (68,501).


The data for the SMMT’s study was sourced from the DVLA, which holds ownership details for cars in the UK. As well as giving the headline numbers, it also reveals trends in the market, the most significant of which is that demand for used diesel cars is actually on the up, with the Q2 figure of 868,573 vehicles representing an increase of 3.2% compared with last year. By contrast, in the new car market demand for diesel has been down by almost 30% in the first seven months of 2018.

Elsewhere patterns seen in the used car market are much more aligned with its new car equivalent. For example, both have seen increases in sales of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric cars (such as the Renault Zoe, pictured above) to the tune of around 25% as more people turn towards greener motoring, be it for environmental or financial reasons.

In terms of types of car, the supermini (think Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Polo) remains the top seller, followed by small and medium family cars (Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf). However, it is SUVs that continue to represent the fastest growing part of the market, with sales of used examples increasing by almost 11% in the second quarter of 2018 compared with the same period last year.

The data also shows the most popular colours when it comes to choosing a used car, with black leading the way ahead of silver, blue, grey, white and red.

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