Demand for used diesel cars grows in Britain amid market decline

Sam Sheehan
17 May 2018
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The number of used diesel cars bought in Britain went up by 2% in the first quarter of 2018, in contrast to the 10.5% 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% decline on the same period in 2017. However, much of the fall can be attributed to used petrol cars, which saw a 9.7% decrease in demand.

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

Top 10 best-selling cars in Britain

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

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."