getty used car

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were the star performers in the UK’s use car market in Q3 2023. Sales of BEVs soared by 99.9%, reaching a record 1.8% market share.

Overall, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed that the UK used car market grew by 5.5% in Q3 2023, with almost 1.9 million units changing hands. The market was up 4.6% year to date, an increase on 2022, but still -9.3% behind pre-pandemic levels.

The increase marks the third successive quarter of growth, with 98,713 additional transactions compared with the same period in 2022.

Volumes in each month of the quarter rose, with the strongest gain in September, up 6.3%, which helped the market deliver the best Q3 performance since 2021. Reflecting an increase in supply, demand for BEVs doubled in the quarter, reaching a record market share as volumes rose by 99.9% to 34,021 units. The boost now means BEVs represent 1.8% of the used market, up from 1% last year. Sales of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), and hybrids (HEVs) also grew, up 34.6% and 46.4% respectively. Volumes for petrol and diesel cars, meanwhile, grew by 4% to 1,065,448 and 2.3% to 704,204 units respectively.

Superminis remained the most popular vehicle type, rising by 5.8% to 607,484 units and accounting for 32.3% of transactions. Black remained the most popular used car colour for the 11th consecutive quarter, equating to more than a fifth (21.3%) of sales.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The used car market continues to grow strongly, with re-energised supply unlocking demand for pre-owned EVs – the result being twice as many motorists switching to zero emission motoring in the quarter. Maintaining this momentum requires growth in the new car market, to boost supply to the used sector and cement this success. Equally important is the urgent need for charging infrastructure rollout so that all drivers can have confidence in being able to charge whenever and wherever they need.”