“2023 proved to be a healthy year for the used car market, seeing four straight quarters of growth and growth of 5.1% on 2022.”, Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), commenting on the latest SMMT’s used car figures.

The UK’s used car market has grown by 6.9% in the fourth quarter of 2023, with 1,679,116 transactions. The year as a whole saw transactions up 5.1% from 2022 to 7,242,692 transactions.

Used battery electric vehicles (BEVs) saw an impressive 90.9% growth for a 1.6% market share in 2023 whilst plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) experienced 25.1% growth and hybrids (HEVs) increased by 40.0%.

Petrol and diesel continued to dominate the vast majority of used sales, with 4,079,555 and 2,747,911 transactions respectively in 2023 making up 94.3% of the market share.

Sue Robinson added: “With 2023 also seeing consecutive months of growth in the new car market, it is positive to see this proliferating into the used car market.

“Of note is the strong performance of used electric which reached record levels and have increased their market share from 4.0% in 2022 to 5.6% of the market in 2023. Used EVs are a key component in the transition to electric. It will become inevitable that the used EV market expands in the next couple of years as more new electric cars are registered and as smaller lower cost EVs hit the roads the used growth will become exponential.

“Ultimately, these figures are a positive sign for the year ahead, and the used car market has gathered considerable momentum through what has been a challenging period.

“Despite this strong showing, it is important that the Government supports the automotive sector and builds on the progress the used car market has made in 2023. With the Spring Budget less than a month away, the Government can address many pertinent issues to encourage consumers to make the switch to electric. These have been highlighted to the Chancellor in NFDA’s 2024 Spring Budget Submission.

“With supply issues easing, we can expect franchised dealers to continue to see strong demand in the used car segment in 2024 driven by a combination of consumer demand and the increasing choice of models on offer.”