EV sales reach record high as used car sales increase 5.1% in 2023

February 08, 2024 by

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A 5.1% increase in used car sales in 2023 shows strong demand – with sales of used EVs almost doubling.

  • Sales of used Battery Electric Vehicles up +90.9% in 2023 (to 118,973)
  • Used EVs were more popular than plug-in hybrids
  • Total used car sales increase 5.1% to 7,242,692
  • Black was most popular used car colour
  • Small hatchbacks were best-selling type of used car
  • Most popular used cars were the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and VW Golf

The most popular used car in 2023 was almost certainly a black Ford Fiesta, according to official figures from the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders), which showing that small hatchbacks were the most popular type of used cars bought, with the Ford Fiesta as the best-selling used car, and the most popular used car colour was black – chosen by over 1.5 million used car buyers.

Total used car sales grew 5.1% in 2023, including a 90.9% increase (almost double) in sales of used electric cars (EVs) with a record-breaking number of 118,973 going to new owners.

Used electric vehicles out-sold used plug-in hybrids, but petrol-engined models still topped 2023 used car sales with 4,079,555 of them changing hands, compared to 2,747,911 diesels, together representing over 94% of used sales. Hybrid models were the third most-popular with sales of 221,859.

Black, grey and blue were the top three colours of used cars in 2023, but at the other end of the scale, nearly 5,000 pink used cars found new homes.

“A healthy new car market is key to driving choice in the used sector and it’s great to see record numbers of second and third owners benefitting from the growing availability of electric vehicles. The demand is there, but to sustain it we must enable every motorist to make the switch,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes. “The upcoming Budget is a prime opportunity for government to do just that – halving VAT on new EVs, while making public charging as easy and affordable as plugging in at home, would ensure a faster and fairer transition for all, giving the UK a green economic boost.”

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