Sales of used cars hit new highs

A record number of used vehicles bought in the UK during first quarter of 2017

According to new data revealed this week, a record number of used vehicles were purchased during the first quarter of 2017 in the UK.
This news comes after record sales of new vehicle registrations were reported for the same period, showing that us Brits are splashing the cash on more vehicles than at any other time before.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), who were responsible for the report, believe that the used-car boom could be down to the fact that there’s now a much wider range of newer and safer motors available on the market.
However, new figures have shown that a huge number of second-hand cars have been bought through finance in 2017, in the middle of a worrying time in the car market regarding the growth of borrowing.
According to the SMMT, 2,133,956 used cars were purchased during the first quarter of 2017 – up 3.4% on last year and the biggest growth over the first three months of the year since records began.
Regardless of the fact that diesel cars are going through a tough time at the moment, with the Government planning ‘scrappage schemes’ to get as many off the roads as possible, this fuel type of vehicle was still more in demand than petrol ones.
The stats discovered a 5.6% increase in used diesel car sales in the first three months of the year, whereas second-hand petrol sales rose by 1.6%.
The SMMT claims that of the 851,569 used diesel cars sold during the first quarter, only one in five was one of the latest low emission Euro 6 models, meaning around 80% of the buyers of a diesel car could end up paying a penalty fee, if the proposed 2019 London Ultra Low Emissions Zones and Clean Air Zones in other major cities throughout the UK are introduced.
The SMMT’s report also discovered a growth in sales of alternative fuel vehicles, with sales of hybrid, electric and hydrogen powered vehicles rising by 43.2% during the first quarter of 2017 – equating to total unit sales of 21,320.
Despite the huge growth however, alternative fuel used cars only account for a mere 1% of all second-hand car sales across the country.
SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: “A buoyant used car market combined with strong residual values is good news for the sector, with motorists benefitting from the wide range of models and high-tech safety and connected features entering the market.”
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