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UK used electric cars sales grew by 81% in second quarter of 2023

According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) used battery electric vehicle (BEVs) sales grew by 81.8% in the second quarter of 2023, with a total of 30,645 vehicles changing hands. 

This figure only represents  1.7% of the market although that in itself is a new high, up from 1.0% last year.

 

Sales of used plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) were up 11.4%  (18,437 sold) while hybrid sales (HEVs) grew 29.5% (53,634 sold) respectively.

Overall, the UK’s used car market rose by 4.1% between May and July  with 1,832,267 vehicles sold. The increase equates to an additional 72,583 transactions compared with the same period in 2022

The combined growth of electric vehicles meant that market share for conventionally powered cars fell to 94.3% from 95.7% last year, even though volumes of petrol and diesel cars saw growth of 2.5% and 2.8% respectively. 

Superminis were  the best-selling used vehicle type, making up 31.5% of transactions.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: ‘It’s great to see a recharged new car sector supporting demand for used cars and, in particular, helping more people to get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle. Meeting the undoubted appetite for pre-owned EVs will depend on sustaining a buoyant new car market and on the provision of accessible, reliable charging infrastructure powered by affordable, green energy. This, in turn, will allow more people to drive zero at a price point suited to them, helping accelerate delivery of our environmental goals.’

Kevin Pratt, car insurance expert at Forbes Advisor, says: ‘We may look back at the second quarter of 2023 as a turning point in the fortunes of electric vehicles in the UK. The transition away from internal combustion engines only has a hope of succeeding if there is a buoyant second-hand EV market, with affordable options for those who cannot afford the high price of new vehicles. An increase of over 80% in the sale of second hand EVs in the period April – June confirms there is a rapidly growing appetite for these cars, facilitated by the growth in new EV sales over previous quarters. The market is maturing fast.

‘That said, the bald figure is that EV sales only account for 1.7% of the second-hand market – just over 30,600 out of 1.8 million sales in Q2. The kind of growth we’re now seeing will need to be sustained if the government is to hit its targets for transitioning the UK private car fleet, so it is important to maintain the flow of information to drivers so that they understand the costs of buying and running an EV.’

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