Used car sales have fallen in every month this year apart from March, according to figures from the SMMT.
In the second quarter, the decline was driven by the North West, Scotland and the South East while all other regions experienced increases in demand.
Cities topping the list for used car sales were London, Birmingham and Sheffield.
Demand for petrol and diesel models declined in the second quarter, down by -3.7% and -2.5% respectively.
However, combined sales of the fuel types still made up 98.3% of the market. Meanwhile demand for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric cars continued to grow, up 24.8%, with 33,492 models changing hands.
Of these alternatively fueled vehicles (AFVs), pure electrics experienced the largest growth – up 32.8%, with hybrids also rising 25% to 29,321 units, but this growth was unable to offset losses elsewhere.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “With the country still gripped by economic and political uncertainty it’s perhaps unsurprising to see the used car market slowing down.
The downturn in used car transactions was also seen in used car values on Auto Trader. Ian Plummer, commercial director, said: “Whether it’s the Conservative leadership race, the new prime minister, or the increased likelihood of a no-deal Brexit, consumers have faced significant turbulence over the last few months. It should come as no surprise therefore, that despite its resilience, the same consumer uncertainty that is so profoundly affecting new car sales should impact the used car market too.
“We can see further evidence of this reflected on the average second-hand retail prices. According to the latest findings from the Auto Trader Retail Price Index, which analyses over half a million industry data points, the rate of growth in used prices has stalled: for the first time in three years, the rate of price growth is in actual decline, slowing to just -0.7% in July.”
NFDA director Sue Robinson said: “Franchised retailers continue to see strong interest in used cars, however, a large proportion of motorists are keeping their current vehicles partly due to the uncertainty caused by new emission policies and the transition to low emission vehicles.
“The recent declines in new car sales, combined with fewer companies defleeting, have had a detrimental effect on the availability of part exchange vehicles. Going forward, dealers’ stock availability is expected to improve as more two and three year old second-hand cars return to dealerships.
“It is important to note that we are comparing this year’s results with an extremely robust market in 2018. Used and nearly new cars continue to be an important business area for franchised retailers.”
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