Britain's used car market surges in Q2, says SMMT
Britain's used car market grew 108.6% in the second quarter of 2021, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, with 2.16m vehicles changing hands during the period.
The figure marked a 6.6% improvement on 2019 pre-pandemic levels and was the best second-quarter performance on record and almost the best quarter ever for the used car market.
The SMMT stated the increase not only tracked the country's gradual emergence from Covid-19 lockdowns, but also reflected increased demand for personal mobility and stock shortages in the new car market.
The used car market saw its biggest growth in April, up 307.4% on 2020 with 724,743 transactions in the month, and up 5.0% on 2019, while all months saw "significant growth".
Year to date, the used car market was up 33.3% as 3.85m units were sold over the first half of the year. However, that figure remained 4.9% lower than that seen in 2019.
Petrol and diesel powertrains made up 96.4% of the quarter's used car market, while plug-in vehicles made up 1.3% of the used car market in the quarter.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "This is welcome news for the used car market as transactions rebounded following nationwide lockdowns which closed retailers. More motorists are turning to used cars as supply shortages continue to affect the new car market, and the increased need for personal mobility with people remaining wary of public transport as they return to work.
"A buoyant used car market is necessary to maintain strong residual values which, in turn, supports new car transactions. We now need to see a similar rebound in new car sales to accelerate the fleet renewal necessary to deliver immediate and continuous improvements in air quality and carbon emissions."