Used Car Sales Hit Record High as Over 8.2 Million Vehicles Sold in 2016

Britain’s used car market is going strong, hitting a record level last year with 8.2 million vehicles being sold. 2016 saw a 7.3% increase compared to the sales numbers of 2015, according to figures published by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

As well as being a record year, the figures revealed that a whopping 1.8 million used cars changed hands in the fourth quarter of 2016. There was a 5.5% increase in October, making it the second busiest month for used car sales since the switch to a biannual new car plate change. The busiest month was in April of the same year.

Which cars are people buying?

Smaller cars are still the most popular among used car buyers for another year running. Superminis were the best-selling body type, and made up for over one third of all of the used car sales from throughout the year.

SUV’s saw their popularity rise amongst consumers faster than any other body-type, with nearly 17% more changing hands compared to 2015. They now make up 8.3% of the market!

Transactions involving city cars also grew by 11.5%.

The most popular used car model last year remained the Ford Fiesta, which was closely followed by the Ford Focus and then the Vauxhall Corsa.

Here are the top 10 used car models that were purchased in 2016:

When it comes to colours, silver is still the number one choice amongst consumers, followed by black and then blue.

In an interesting twist, brown moved into the top 10 in place of gold… We’re not sure what that says about 2016…

What about fuel?

Whilst petrol is still the most popular fuel type, with more than 4.6 million vehicles being traded, an increase of 4.7% on 2015, its market share actually fell in 2016 by 1.5%. More people switched to alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFV) and diesel vehicles last year compared to 2015.

Over the past decade or so, more consumers have been switching to diesel powered vehicles, with last year showing similar results. In 2016 the purchase of diesel vehicles increased by 11.1%, and used AFV registrations increased by a whopping 32.5%!

Where are used vehicles being bought and sold?

The South East saw the most used vehicles sold last year, making up 14.9% of the total. The North West was second in the list, making up just over 10% of the total, and the East was third where 9.8% of the UK’s used cars were sold.

Here is a table of the UK’s used car sales figures split by region…

Speaking about the recent figures, Mike Hawes, the Chief Executive at the SMMT, said: “On the back of a record 2016 for UK new car registrations, it’s further good news that our used car market is in such good health.

“Strong demand is testament to the quality, reliability and appeal of cars on sale today, with used buyers enjoying more choice, more low emission, safety and connected technology than ever. Providing economic conditions remain stable and interest rates low, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t see growth in this sector continue in 2017.”

What great news for used car dealers up and down the country. Let’s all hope for an equally impressive 2017!

Source: SMMT

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