UK’s Used Car Market Grew 11.5% in 2021
According to the latest figures published by the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers), the UK’s used car market grew by 11.5% to 7,530,956 transactions in 2021. This is 777,997 more cars changed hands than in 2020.
However, the 2021 performance was still -5.5% below the pre-pandemic five-year average.
Q4 finished the year off, with transactions falling by -3.1% to just over 1.6 million, as semiconductor shortages impacting new car sales in the second half of the year squeezed supply of stock into the used market.
As the UK emerged from lockdowns, the second quarter was the best Q2 on record with 2.1 million transactions. May being the highpoint with 769,782 cars finding new keepers in the month. December performance fell by -10.2% as restrictions increased.
Annual demand for BEVs and PHEVs hit record levels, growing by 119.2% and 75.6% to 40,228 and 56,861 transactions respectively. HEV transactions also rose by 50.3% to 137,639, which is also a new high.
Used petrol and diesel powertrain transactions increased by 10.7% and 9.8% respectively, with a combined 7,277,291 units changing hands. This means that even with record demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles, 96.6% of all used car sales were still either petrol or diesel models, evidence of how far the market must go to meet zero emission ambitions.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “It’s good to see the used car market return to growth, even if activity is still below where we were pre-pandemic. With the global shortage of semiconductors set to ease later this year, releasing the squeeze on new car supply, we expect more of the latest, cleanest and zero emission models to become available for second owners. The demand for personal mobility has undoubtedly increased during the pandemic, so it’s vital we have healthy new car sales to drive fleet renewal and the used car market if we are to improve air quality and address climate change.”
For more information, head over to the SMMT website.