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Used car sales down 4.9% in Q3

Used car sales fell by 4.9% during Q3 this year, according to the latest statistics from Experian, the global information services company.

The biggest casualties in the used car market during Q3 were the mini and lower medium segments, which saw sales fall by 5.2% and 5.8% respectively compared to Q3 2008.

The scrappage scheme is the reason for the decline, with new car sales of the mini and lower medium segments soaring in the last quarter.

Mark Nuttall, general manager of Experian’s Automotive business, said: “Although demand for used cars over all has declined, cost savings and value for money are certainly still focusing the minds of car buyers. Cars that are cheaper to run, such as electric, diesel and hybrid, are continuing to see sales rise.

“Used smaller were the most affected as buyers took advantage of the scrappage scheme and bought new. Used sports cars, however, are bucking the trend, with demand for diesel models in particular seeing a 75% increase in sales.”


The only segments that saw a year-on-year rise in the third quarter were MPVs (3.1%), sports cars and luxury cars (0.3% increase). The luxury segment was the only one to see a year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter increase in sales.
The used sports segment saw the highest year-on-year increase with an 8.1% rise – the first increase during Q3 for this segment over the last three years – but the second highest quarter-on-quarter decline (down 7.8%).


The rise in sales of electric and hybrid cars continues, although the increase has not been as significant as in previous years. However, there was a rise in sales of used diesel cars which saw a 4.1% increase from Q3 2008.


BMW was the only car make to see an increase in used car sales during Q3. After Rover, Fiat was the make to see the biggest year-on-year fall in used car sales (down 12.7%) and also the biggest quarter-on-quarter drop (down 7.1%).

The Vauxhall Corsa overtook the Ford Fiesta as the top selling used car during Q3, with over 75,000 being sold between July to September in 2009 and outselling the Ford Fiesta (Q3 2008’s top selling car) by 4.1%.


The biggest drop was seen on models up to three years old due to the shortfall in the number of these cars coming to market.

Download Experian’s used car sales figures in Microsoft Excel format by:



Fuel type


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