RAC Cars News


Used Car Market Booming

By raccars Published

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British Car Auctions recently published the 24th edition of its well respected annual Used Car Market Report, showing used car sales of 7.4 million units last year. That's three times as many used car sales as new, and the best year since 2006.

More and more used car buyers are trusting dealers rather than buying privately, with the dealership market share up to 57.8%. Dealer sales volumes were up by 5.1% for a total of 4.28 million used car unit sales. The total used car market value in the UK is now estimated to be at £42.7 billion.

The report is compiled for BCA by the University of Buckingham Business School's Centre for Automotive Management, which has attributed the growth to a healthier economy overall and the release of plenty of high quality, relatively young, new cars onto the new market. Cars aged up to five years old fall into this category and accounted for more than half of 2013's used car sales. 2.75 million young used cars were sold last year, up by 6.5% on 2012. The supply of cars in this category has been improved by the booming new car market, easing a shortage of cars up to five years old on the used market in the last few years.

Not only have volumes risen, but the average value of used cars also rose last year, from £5,352 in 2012 to £5,764. The dealer average was a little higher, at £7,660, up £688 on 2012's used car dealer average price. However, the average price of privately sold used cars dropped to £2,465 - £431 less than the previous year.

The overall number of cars on the road in the UK rose last year, thanks to a higher number of new car registrations and a trend for keeping existing cars running longer. This figure was estimated at 400,000 for 2013, the most significant increase in the last eight years, and is expected to rise over the next couple of years, in line with new car sales growth.

Nonetheless, the used car market is still seeing the impact of the recession upon the new car market, with the average age of cars on UK roads at 7.7 years, the highest for three decades. 78.8% of cars now live long enough to reach their twelfth birthday and 41.6% get to 15 years old.

A survey of the criteria people use when choosing a second hand car showed that personal experience is the key factor for 28% of buyers, followed by the opinions of family and friends at 26%.

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