Demand for used diesel cars grows in Britain amid market decline

British motorists bought two million second-hand cars in the first quarter of 2018.

By Sam Sheehan, Autocar UK calendar 18 May 2018 Views icon4520 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

The number of used diesel cars bought in Britain went up by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018, in contrast to the 10.5 percent fall in demand for new oil-burning cars in the same period.

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures show that a total of 2,031,661 used cars changed hands in the first three months of the year, representing a 4.8 percent decline on the same period in 2017. However, much of the fall can be attributed to used petrol cars, which saw a 9.7 percent decrease in demand.

Conversely, demand for second-hand alternatively fuelled vehicles grew 15.9 percent with 24,697 sales. Within this category, used electric cars saw a 33.8 percent increase to represent 2,927 units, while hybrids rose by 14.1percent.

This helped push the market share for used alternatively fuelled vehicles up to 1.2 percent. Although petrol demand was down, it still accounted for 55.9 percent of the used market share, while diesel represented 42.8 percent.

SMMT boss Mike Hawes said: “Despite the overall decline in demand, the UK’s used car sector remains at a very high level and it’s great to see millions of consumers benefiting from some of the latest, safest and cleanest models now filtering into the market."

However, he warned that the current decline in the new car market could have a knock-on effect for used sales: "To maintain this choice and make the fastest possible improvements to air quality, we need stability in the new car market. That means giving consumers confidence to trade in their older cars for the best new, low-emission model to suit their needs — whatever the fuel type.”

UK new car market suffers biggest decline in Europe

The UK’s favourite new car, the Ford Fiesta, was also number one in the used car table for the first quarter. Sales of second-hand Fiestas totalled 92,569, beating the Ford Focus's 83,781 and the Vauxhall Corsa's 81,663.

British tastes for colour also changed in the first three months of the year, with black overtaking silver as the nation’s favourite used car colour. Blue, grey and white were the next favourites.

While superminis remained the best-selling used body type, dual-purpose vehicles (such as pick-ups) witnessed the fastest growth in the first quarter, with second-hand sales up by 12.8 percent to 206,500.


Also read: 

New S60 to be first Volvo to be produced without a diesel engine

Kia to launch new diesel 48V mild-hybrid powertrain in 2018

Solaris to supply hydrogen buses to Hamburg city

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar25 Mar 2023

Five Solaris Urbino 12 buses, powered by energy derived from a 70 kW hydrogen fuel cell, to be deployed with municipal o...

Aptera Motors to integrate Openpilot ADAS in its solar EVs

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar25 Mar 2023

California-based Aptera to be the first vehicle manufacturer to implement the open-source driver assistance system.

ACEA urges EU leaders to act on eroding auto industry competitiveness

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar24 Mar 2023

European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association president Luca De Meo says vehicle manufacturers are facing huge challeng...