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Big Drop In Sale Of Used Cars In 2020

February 17, 2021 by mti

Last year was a big disappointment for many motor traders in the UK involved in the selling of second hand cars due to a significant fall in the number of such vehicles being sold in comparison to 2019. Presumably, the coronavirus pandemic was a contributing factor in the reduction in sales.

According to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the number of used cars sold here in the UK in 2020 amounted to 6,752,959 whereas there were 7,935,105 second hand cars sold in the previous year. That is a fall of 1,182,146 with this equating to a drop of 14.9%. We are sure that you will agree this is a huge difference and may well have led to a number of used car sales businesses ceasing to trade. It will be interesting to see if, when we do eventually come out of this pandemic, some of those businesses are able to start back up again.

However, it was pleasing to see that the number of used alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) sold in 2020 increased by 5.2% to 144.225 when compared with 2019. The market share for such vehicles was 2.1%. Presumably, these figures will continue upwards as more and more used AFVs appear on the forecourts of car showrooms.

The number of used cars fuelled by diesel reduced by 15.5% and by petrol by 15.2%.

The top 5 selling used cars in the UK in 2020 were: –

  1. Ford Fiesta                             289,847
  2. Vauxhall Corsa                       244,602
  3. Ford Focus                             242,233
  4. Volkswagen Golf                   224,146
  5. Vauxhall Astra                        196,034

The most popular selling used car segment was the supermini with 32% of sales emanating from this segment last year.

The top 5 colours of used cars sold in the UK in 2020 were: –

  1. Black                                       1,452,942
  2. Aluminium/Silver                    1,235,847
  3. Blue                                         1,155,852
  4. Grey                                        1,005,008
  5. White                                      854,236

Interestingly, there were 4,018 pink coloured used cars sold in the UK in 2020.

The motor trade industry has been going through a difficult period for quite some time now so let us hope that the pandemic will soon come to an end and the likes of motor traders are able to open their showroom doors to potential customers looking to purchase used cars. We will continue to keep our readers up to date with interesting statistics affecting the motor trade industry.


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