The used car market in the UK finished the year slightly down on the previous 12 months, dropping 2.1% to 7,945,040 transactions in 2018, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The 2018 performance was 167,980 sales lower than in 2017, a decline not as severe as the new car market and still the third highest year on records going back to 2001.
Growth in the market came through sales of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric cars, which rose 27% in the year to 106,658.
Counter to recent trends in the new car market, conventional petrol cars sales were down 4.2%, with diesel holding steady with a 0.3% increase.
While superminis remained the largest segment grouping in 2018 with a 33% market share, sales were down -3.7% to 2,618,544. Growth in sales of larger vehicles supported the used market in the year, with dual purpose and executive cars up 9.3% and 2.3% respectively. All other segments recorded falls over the period.
Ford held the top two models with the Fiesta followed by the Focus with the Vauxhall Corsa third.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes commented: “It’s encouraging to see more used car buyers snapping up low-emission vehicles as supply grows – but those sales remain low as an overall proportion of the market.
“We still need the right policies and incentives from government to give new car buyers confidence to choose the cleanest petrol, diesel and electric models that best suit their needs, so that even more drivers can benefit from this exciting technology as it filters down to the used market in the coming years.”