Britain's used car sales motor to record levels as 2.1m vehicles changed hands from July to September

Rebecca Smith
Ford Fiesta's the nation's favoured pick among used cars
Ford Fiesta's the nation's favoured pick among used cars (Source: Getty)

Forget the very aesthetically appealing model debuts being wheeled out at the LA motor show, Brits are still feeling the love for used cars.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), growth in the used car market continued in the third quarter of this year, with buyers snapping up a record 2.1m vehicles, with demand up 7.9 per cent compared to the same period last year.

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And after an electrifying week (from Jaguar's first electric car to BMW ramping up its electric vehicle sales target), it's fitting that sales of electric cars surged 94.1 per cent for this quarter.

Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles rose 34.1 per cent, though it's yet to hit significant mainstream take-up: 21,543 cars changed hands in the third quarter, compared with 16,059 in 2015. Buyers were making the most of new fuel technology appearing in the sector.

Mike Hawes, SMMT's chief executive, said it was "particularly promising" to see growing demand for electric vehicles filter into the used car market, "but to encourage greater take-up, a more widespread commitment to charging infrastructure is needed".

(Source: SMMT)

The trend towards smaller cars continued: superminis were the best-selling type (33.8 per cent), followed by family hatchbacks (27.4 per cent) and saloons (13.4 per cent).

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As for the most popular cars, the Ford Fiesta retained its crown as the favoured model, followed by the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Corsa and more than 60 per cent of all used cars were bought in silver, black and blue.

Hawes said: "Sustained growth in the used car sector is great news for consumers, who have never enjoyed so much choice - whether in brand, body or fuel type, and the range of finance packages on offer makes them more affordable than ever."

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