Despite a very stubborn economic crisis, the used car market continues to sore and this is according to Experian's used car sales index.
2012 started off on the right foot for the used car market, with 1,741,860 units being sold in the first three months of the year and this represents the highest figure since 2009. Q1 showed an increase in the popularity of MPVs, with almost a 27% increase in sales compared to the previous quarter and research shows that the Vauxhall Safira and Renault Scenic are leading the pack. On the other hand, the 4x4 segment did not perform as well and cars such as BMW’s X5 and Range Rover’s Sport saw a 1.3% decline. This quarter's most visible improvement belonged to the electric vehicle sector, which rose by 29% on 2011. Finally, the Ford focus was the bestselling used car of the quarter with 78,812 units sold.
The market continued to grow, and while 1,726,627 used cars were sold, it was still a 2% decline on the same quarter last year. During this quarter, all car segments saw a decrease in sales with the 4x4 market making a surprise comeback with an impressive 5% increase. Whilst supermini sales rose by 0.75%. The electric car and Hybrid markets continue to soar, with 16% and 47% rises respectively from the same time last year. The Ford Focus remains the favourite used car, with more than 75,000 models sold in Q2.
In the third quarter of this year, about 1.75 million used cars were sold in the UK and this equated to a rise of 0.5% on last year. The top selling vehicles being minis, superminis and SUVs, with the latter's preferred models being the Ford Kuga and BMW’s X3 and this is because they are smaller and more fuel efficient. However, the most significant increase was in the electric and hybrid markets, as rises of almost 27% and 60% occurred respectively and this meant a total of 7,301 vehicles. The most popular used car sold this quarter was the Ford Fiesta, which overtook the Ford Focus and saw 78,600 models exchange hands.
The future of the used car market
While 2012's used car figures are not released yet, some future predictions can still be made. According to trendtracker, if the UK economy sees the modest growth predicted for 2013, then the demand for used cars will continue to rise with an average annual growth rate of 1.5%. This will result in 7.27 million used cars being sold by 2017. In addition, based on this year's data, used electric, hybrid and fuel efficient vehicles are due to make a serious splash in the upcoming years.
Amongst the best cars bought this year, other than the Ford Fiesta which won best used car of the year, are used Nissan Qashqai, Mini, BMW 1-series, Fiat 500, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Astra, Citroën C3 and the Volvo S40.