Used car sales booming - but diesels out of favour

The value of used car sales in the UK reached a record high of £45.1 billion in 2014 – a year-on-year increase of 5.6%, according to British Car Auctions (BCA).

That equates to a total of 7.2 million used cars sold last year, resulting in a ratio of 2.9 used cars to every new car in the UK.

More of us are buying older cars, with the average used car sold in 2014 rising to 7.8 years old (a year older than 10 years ago).

However, diesels accounted for 36% of used car sales, a drop of one percent compared to a year earlier.

This suggests that anti-diesel legislation may be starting to harm used car sales, as previously suggested by price experts Glass’s.

BCA group managing director, Spencer Lock, said: “A record-breaking £88.5 billion was spent on used and new cars last year. The combined market churn of 9.7 million cars was one of the highest figures on record – only 2003 recorded a higher volume in recent years.

“The shape of the used car market is likely to change as the new cars sold in the last three
or more years start to feed into the sector in greater volumes.“

Brits own more cars

The report also found that car ownership is also on the rise, from a five year low of 69% of households in 2014 to 75% in 2015.

In addition, 12% of motorists said they are likely to buy a car in the next 12 months – of those, almost three quarters (72%) said they would secondhand.

Hatchbacks continue to be the most popular vehicle amongst used car buyers but 41% said price was the biggest influence when buying a used vehicle.

The importance of the make and model of the car changed depending on the individual’s budget – with those spending more less keen to budge on their choice of motor.

Of those spending less than £1,000, just 15% of buyers said they were concerned about the make and model of car they bought – compared to 65% of those spending more than £20,000.