UK used car transactions fell in Q3, whilst demand for plug-in vehicles grew, according to the latest SMMT figures.

UK used car transactions fell -6.2% against strong Q3 2020 to 2,034,342 units. Demand for used battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles continued to grow in Q3, up by 56.4% and 43.3% to 14,182 and 14,990 respectively.

The number of used BEVs that changed hands during the period was the highest recorded in any quarter, SMMT highlighted. Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) transactions also increased by 20.3% to 40,157. As a result, market share for all used plug-in vehicles increased to 1.4%, up from 0.9% the previous year. Petrol and diesel powertrains continued to dominate, however, comprising 96.4% of all transactions equivalent to 1,959,955 units, although demand for both declined, by -6.9% and -7.6% respectively.

Used car transactions declined in every month across the quarter, with July, August and September all falling, by -4.9%, -5.9% and -7.9% respectively. Overall, the period is down -2.0% on 2019 pre-pandemic.

Superminis were the most popular body type, taking a third of the market (33.0%), followed by lower medium (26.0%) and dual purpose (13.0%). Black remained the most popular colour choice with 436,511 transactions, followed by silver and blue.

Thanks to record sales earlier in the year, year-to-date the used market is 16.4% up on 2020 to 5,889,601 units, an increase of 829,780 transactions. The overall market, is however, -3.9%, or 241,160 units off the 2019 total for the first nine months of the year.