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2017 sees UK used car market running at record high

2.1 million used cars sold in first quarter

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Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that used car sales were at a record high in the first quarter of 2017. A total of 2,133,956 used cars changed hands, representing a 3.4% increase on the same period in 2016.

Sales of used diesel cars saw an increase of 5.6%, while sales of petrol models rose 1.6% and alternatively-fuelled vehicles saw a rise of 43.2%. In the first three months of 2017, the alternatively-fuelled segment accounted for 1.0% of the total used car market, compared with 0.7% last year.

More used diesel cars now feature the latest Euro 6 emissions systems, making up 20% of the 851,569 used diesel cars sold. Euro 6 came into law in 2015, so this figure is certain to increase over time.

The best-selling colour was silver with 463,959 vehicles, accounting for over a quarter of total used car sales. Compared with 2016, sales of silver cars were down 2.1%, while sales of white cars saw an increase of 17.1%.

Assessing the situation, SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes said: “A buoyant used car market combined with strong residual values is good news for the sector, with motorists benefiting from the wide range of models and high-tech safety and connected features entering the market.”

The Ford Fiesta, consistently the best-selling car in the new car market, was also the top seller in the used car sector.

Top-selling used car models Q1 2017 (The Car Expert)

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Katharine Morgan
Katharine Morgan
Katharine was a contributor to both The Car Expert and The Van Expert, and is now Motorsport & Automotive Press Officer for Goodwood.