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Used Car Sales Fall In Q1 2021

May 18, 2021 by mti

Motor traders will be disappointed to read that the number of second hand car sales in the UK dropped in the first quarter of 2021 in comparison to the same period in 2020 according to data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

In the first quarter of 2021, the number of used cars sold here in the UK amounted to 1,687,755 whereas in the first quarter of 2020 the figure was 1,851,919. That is a reduction of 164,164 with this equating to a drop of 8.9%. We are sure that our readers will agree that is a significant fall.

One of the reasons for the fall will no doubt be due to the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic that resulted in showrooms remaining closed to the physical visiting of potential buyers of used cars for an extended period of time. Yes, there will probably have been some used car showrooms offering a service to customers to buy cars online but that will not have made up for the number of people who like to look over a used car in person before committing to buy such a vehicle.

Looking at those quarterly figures in a little more detail, there was a drop of 27.1% in second hand cars sold in January 2021 and a 19.4% fall in used cars sold in February 2021 in comparison to the same months in 2020. However, in March 2021, there was an increase of 32.2% in the number of used cars sold in the UK when compared with the same month last year. Having said that, it should be noted that March 2020 was not a good month due to the pandemic.

The top 5 selling used cars in the UK in Q1 of 2021 were: –

  1. Ford Fiesta                            72,795
  2. Ford Focus                            60,883
  3. Vauxhall Corsa                      60,748
  4. Volkswagen Golf                  56,650
  5. Vauxhall Astra                       48,799

Electric used car sales saw a big increase with 37.9% more plug-ins sold in the first quarter of 2021 when compared with the same quarter last year.

The top 5 regions for used car sales in Q1 of 2021 were: –

  1. South East                               237,299
  2. North West                             184,974
  3. West Midlands                        166,827
  4. East                                         157,265
  5. South West                             155,019

The top 5 selling used car colours were: –

  1. Black                                       369,027
  2. Silver/aluminium                     297,549
  3. Blue                                         284,566
  4. Grey                                        258,607
  5. White                                      221,106

Those working in the motor trade industry, in particular motor traders, will be hoping that, with the easing of lockdown measures, more used car buyers will be visiting car showrooms and forecourts to view and subsequently purchase second hand cars here in the UK. We will continue to keep our readers up to date with relevant statistics pertaining to the motor trade industry.


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