Second-hand car sales slide 15% as coronavirus wipes almost 2 MILLION new and used vehicle transactions off the books in 2020
- Used car transactions fell to 6,752,959 models last year – down 1,182,146 on 2019
- Second-hand car sales compounds a 30% decline in registrations in 2020
- Trade bosses have already described it as a ‘lost year for automotive’
- It has estimated that the impact of Covid-19 has cost the sector £20billion
- SMMT also warned a slow-down in sales has delayed a shift to cleaner vehicles
The UK’s used car market slipped 14.9 per cent in 2020, compounding an already dismal year for the motor industry, new figures have revealed this morning.
Transactions of second-hand motors fell to 6,752,959 cars – down 1,182,146 on 2019 sales, making it the lowest performing year since 2012, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders confirmed on Tuesday.
The trade body said lockdown measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and ‘turbulent consumer and business confidence’ had dented sales of both new and used vehicles.
With car registrations also plunging by almost 30 per cent last year, it means motor dealers sold 1.9million fewer vehicles in total than the 12 months previous.
Second-hand sales slide: There were 1.1million fewer used cars sold in 2020 than in 2019, compounding an already dismal year for the automotive sector
Last month, the SMMT revealed the huge toll of the Covid-19 pandemic on showrooms, with registrations of new motors falling from 2.31 million in 2019 to just 1.63 million in 2020 – the biggest year-on-year decline since the Second World War and a 28-year low in terms of total sales.
It described 2020 as a ‘lost year for automotive’ that has cost the UK motor industry £20billion and led to a £1.9billion loss in tax to the Treasury.
Mike Hawes, chief executive at the industry body, said today’s figures were ‘yet more evidence of the significant damage coronavirus has caused the automotive sector’.
He added: ‘The priority now must be to allow car showrooms to re-open as soon as restrictions are eased.
‘This will not only help the used market recover, supporting jobs and livelihoods and providing individuals with the personal mobility they need at a time when guidance is against using public or shared transport, but it will also enable the latest and cleanest vehicles to filter through to second owners and keep society moving.’
Transactions of second-hand motors fell to 6,752,959 cars – down 1,182,146 on 2019 sales, making it the lowest performing year since 2012
Despite eight-year low sales of used cars, superminis remained the most popular second-hand vehicles with 2.2million purchased, accounting for a third of all sales last year.
The Ford Fiesta was the most bought used motor, with 289,847 changing hands last year.
As for the most popular colours, black (1.4 million), silver (1.2 million) and blue (1.1 million) cars were purchased in the greatest numbers.
The Ford Fiesta was the most-bought second hand car and black was the most popular colour choice
The trade body also said there had been a rise in sales of used alternatively fuelled vehicles; demand grew 5.2 per cent on 2019 as more of these low-emission cars are beginning to appear on the used market.
Sales of battery electric vehicles increased by 29.7 per cent, though just 19,184 second-hand examples bought represents a mere 0.3 per cent of the total market activity.
Hybrid and plug-in hybrid sales both rose around 5 per cent, while diesel and petrol transactions declined 15.5 per cent and 15.2 per cent respectively, mirroring new car registrations.
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