Used electric car sales rise to record levels ahead of new petrol and diesel ban

An electric car charging

Sales of used electric cars have soared in recent months

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Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves


Published: 09/08/2023

- 10:07

Second-hand electric car sales have grown massively over the last three months

Sales of used battery electric vehicles has grown by 81.8 per cent, accounting for a record market share of 1.7 per cent.

During the second quarter of the year, 1.8 million used cars changed hands, boosting the second-hand vehicle market by 4.1 per cent.


The data, from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), found that 30,645 used electric cars were sold, breaking records.

Sales of used plug-in hybrids and other hybrids have grown 11.4 per cent and 29.5 per cent respectively.

An electric Mini

More than 30,000 used electric cars were sold in the last three months

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Thanks to the rising proportion of electric vehicles on the second-hand market, the market share of used petrol and diesel cars has fallen below 95 per cent.

It is expected that the number of used electric cars will grow as the UK edges closer to the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.

Some experts are relying on businesses and fleets to provide a steady stream of used electric cars to grow the second-hand market.

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive at the SMMT, said: “It’s great to see a recharged new car sector supporting demand for used cars and, in particular, helping more people to get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle.

“Meeting the undoubted appetite for pre-owned EVs will depend on sustaining a buoyant new car market and on the provision of accessible, reliable charging infrastructure powered by affordable, green energy.

“This, in turn, will allow more people to drive zero at a price point suited to them, helping accelerate delivery of our environmental goals.”

The Ford Fiesta was the best-selling used model in the second quarter of 2023, with 75,378 transactions.

July saw the final Ford Fiesta roll off the production line in Cologne, Germany, after selling more than 22 million units around the world.

Other best-selling used vehicles included the Vauxhall Corsa selling 59,000 models, the Volkswagen Golf (58,000) and the Ford Focus (56,000).

While sales of used cars have increased, sales in the second quarter remain almost 10 per cent below 2019 levels, with the industry still recovering from the impacts of coronavirus lockdowns.

Alex Buttle, co-founder of Motorway, said: “Used car sales continue to be strong in 2023, with another great set of results in Q2.

“With wait times for new cars easing, more people are selling their current cars to get their hands on something fresh off the production line.

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A Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta was the best-selling used car in the second quarter this year

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“This has naturally led to a steady supply of high-quality used cars hitting the market and, with it, some great deals for savvy motorists.”

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