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Used market grows but dealers' share cut by private sales

According to the 2003 Used Car Market Report from BCA Europe and Sewells Information and Research, 6.6m used cars – worth a total of £28.1bn – were sold in the UK in 2003, an increase of 192,000 units and an additional £2.7bn in value year on year.

It was the first volume increase since 1995 and the third highest value ever recorded – behind 1998 and 1999 when nearly one million more vehicles were sold each year. But while the market grew, sales by dealers fell by one per cent to 3.57m units. Private to private sales grew five per cent to 2.7m units.

However, dealer volumes rem-aimed strong for younger cars, accounting for 89.2 per cent of cars aged under two years and 77.6 per cent of vehicles aged between three and five years. Private-to-private sales are strongest in the nine-year plus sector.

“Dealers account for nearly three-quarters (74.6 per cent) of the total used car market value, generating business worth £21bn last year, twice the value they achieved in the early 1990s. Average used car values on forecourts were up on last year by £131 to £5870,” says the report.

Tom Madden, BCA director of customer affairs, says: “The UK used car industry continues to grow in stature and importance, thanks to the professional and focused activities of both franchised and independent dealers.”

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