Used car sales drop for second quarter in a row

  • UK used car sales fell by 12.2 per cent in Q3 2022, with 1,785,447 vehicles changing hands
  • Second consecutive quarter of decline as new car supply shortages hit volumes 
  • Used car prices remain strong, according to the heycar Used Car Price Index 

Used car sales fell by 12.2 per cent in the third quarter of 2022, with 1,785,447 vehicles changing hands, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

This is the first time that quarter three transactions have dipped below two million since 2015 and follows an 18.8 per cent drop in sales in quarter two of 2022. Year-to-date sales are now down 9.7 per cent.

The drop in sales is a result of semiconductor shortages impacting supply of stock from the new car market, which has also meant used car prices are holding steady. 

The average asking price of a three-year-old car rose 2.19 per cent over the quarter, with five-year-old cars seeing a 0.34 per cent decrease over the same period, according to the latest data from online used car marketplace heycar.

Row Of Parked Cars

Looking at October alone, average asking prices for both three-year-old and five-year-old cars on heycar were up on the previous month. Three-year-old cars saw the second biggest increase in values this year, up by 4.55 per cent (after August’s 13.66 per cent rise), while five-year-old cars values rose slightly for the second consecutive month (up 1.78 per cent in October and 1.56 per cent in September). 

heycar also reported a 5.04 per cent increase in prices for three-year-old electric vehicles (EV) over the third quarter, with petrol values up by 2.19 per cent and diesel by just 1.54 per cent. 

Sales of used EVs rose by 44 per cent to 16,775 during the quarter, according to the SMMT, adding up to 48,032 in the year to date. The market for used hybrids also grew, up 2.5 per cent in the quarter with 41,479 cars finding new owners, taking the yearly total so far to 119,722. Plug-in hybrid sales, meanwhile, fell 5.8 per cent to 13,899 in Q3, though they remain up 7.1 per cent since January at 44,724. 

The Ford Fiesta, which Ford recently announced will no longer be produced from next year, was the best-selling model. 

EV Charging At Motorway Services

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said:“Given the short supply of new cars due largely to sustained chip shortages, a declining used car market comes as little surprise, although it’s great to see a growing number of used buyers able to get into an electric car."

He continued: "The demand is clearly there and to feed it we need a buoyant new car market, which means giving buyers confidence to invest. Next week’s Autumn Statement is an opportunity for the Government to make a long-term fiscal commitment to zero emission motoring, including adequate public charging infrastructure, which, especially given the economic headwinds, would go a long way to stimulating the market and delivering both economic and net zero progress.”

How many used cars were sold in Q3 2022?

There were 1,785,447 used cars sold in the third quarter of 2022, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This was a drop of 12.2 per cent and year-to-date sales are now down 9.7 per cent.

Ask HJ

Best spacious used car?

I'm looking for spacious, reliable used car with either fold down seats or a large boot. I do a lot of town driving with occasional long runs. I am looking for fuel economy but I am worried about the diesel particulate filter sooting up problem. If it is to be petrol, please suggest an economical, roomy, cheap but comfortable used car.
Without knowing your budget it's difficult to give you a clear answer. We'd gravitate towards a Skoda Octavia estate as an all-rounder, but the Fabia Estate might work for you depending on if it's big enough - it'll certainly be economical. Other recommendations include the Honda Accord Tourer, the Mazda 6 Tourer and the Toyota Avensis estate.
Answered by Lawrence Allan
More Questions
Ask HJ

How long will my car last?

I have a Skoda Superb Estate DSG TDI 150. It’s been a great car and runs well and does everything I want but it has done 106,000 miles and is six years old. How long will it last ? I’m prepared for some maintenance issues (changed cam belt and changed DSG oil twice) but if EGR or DSG or turbocharge fail when I’m abroad it would be inconvenient. So should I run it or change it? New cars are expensive!
This is a difficult question to answer, but having done such mileage in only six years suggests it's done lots of high speed motorway trips. This is when a car's mechanical components are under the least stress - the engine is warm and turning over at a constant low-ish rpm, the gearbox isn't being stressed and the suspension isn't working too hard. If that's the case, we'd say your Superb should have plenty of life left in it and could well see 200,000 miles without any issue. We can't make any guarantees though - it might be worth looking into an aftermarket warranty.
Answered by Lawrence Allan
More Questions