The past couple of years have meant a rough ride for most businesses, used car retailers included.
However, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported that last year used car retailers delivered annual sales up 11.5 per cent year-on-year in 2021. This means that last year’s used car market was just 5.5 per cent lower than the pre-pandemic five-year average.
How many used cars were sold?
There were a total of 7,530,956 used vehicle transactions in 2021, which means 777,997 more cars were sold than in 2020.
Used car retailers put this down to an imbalance of supply and demand. Auto Trader commented that the long lead times for new cars helped drive the demand for nearly new cars.
The SMMT reported that used car retailers hit a record high in Q2 of 2021, with 2.1 million transactions. May saw the highest sales with 769,782 units sold.
However, as the year went on, stock shortages began to take effect, and Q4 saw a 3.1 per cent year-on-year decline in transactions.
James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars, said: “Used car sales may have slowed during the final months of 2021, but that can’t take the shine off what was a strong, if volatile, year for the second-hand market. Overall second-hand sales in 2021 were up 11.5 per cent compared to 2020, well ahead of the 1 per cent year-on-year increase recorded in new car sales. Nevertheless, the lagged impact of the semiconductor shortage which held back the production of new cars for much of 2021 is now starting to be felt in the second-hand market too.”
What cars were selling?
Petrol and diesel car sales rose by 10.7 per cent and 9.8 per cent last year, with transactions totalling 7,277,291 units. This equates to 96.6 per cent of all used car sales.
Sales of battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids reached record levels in 2021, increasing by 119.2 per cent and 75.6 per cent to 40,228 and 56,861 transactions respectively.
Combined, they represented 3.1 per cent of the market. According to the SMMT, this increase was due to greater numbers of ultra-low and zero-emission models becoming available to second owners.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, commented: “With the global shortage of semiconductors set to ease later this year, releasing the squeeze on new car supply, we expect more of the latest, cleanest and zero-emission models to become available for second owners.”
Which models were popular?
The bestselling used cars for 2021 were the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa for both the year and the fourth quarter.
During the fourth quarter, used car sales were as follows:
1. Ford Fiesta 70,494 units
2. Vauxhall Corsa 57,315 units
3. VW Golf 55,111 units
4. Ford Focus 52,205 units
5. Vauxhall Astra 42,700 units
6. BMW 3 Series 39,481 units
7. Mini 36,340 units
8. VW Polo 34,073 units
9. BMW 1 Series 28,122 units
10. Audi A3 27,176 units
Superminis continued to be the most popular body type in 2021, accounting for a third of the market at 32.7 per cent.
Black remained the most popular colour with used car buyers, followed by silver and blue.
Are you looking for a used car?
F&H in Dogmersfield offers a range of affordable used cars. We offer 3 months warranty on cars made before 2015 and a full year’s warranty on cars manufactured after 2015.
Please pop along to our forecourt to view the cars we have available. If you are interested in any of the cars and have some questions or would like a test-drive, please come in to reception or call us on 01252 615657. We also display all cars in our online car sales showroom – please visit https://www.carsalesinfleet.co.uk/