Used car sales increased by 4% in Q3 this year with 1,801,258 vehicles sold making it the first quarter to see a sales increase both annually and quarterly since Q1 2006.
Experian, the global information services company, said the mini, MPV and 4x4 categories, which include the Vauxhall Corsa, Vauxhall Zafira and Toyota Rav4, were the segments leading the increase. These categories saw rises of 9.2%, 14.1% and 7.7% respectively.
The south east was the best performing region in the UK for used car sales, with a total of 382,697 cars sold. This was an 8.4% increase compared to Q3 2009.
Joe Myers, director of commercial for Experian, said: “Q3 is historically a slow period for used cars sales, which makes this improvement in sales volumes very positive news for the used car industry.
“By taking advantage of market intelligence around car sales, dealers can use the surge in transactions to uncover the latest buying trends and adapt their stock offering to meet market demand and maximize sales opportunities.”
Trevor Finn, chief executive of Pendragon, said: “Our national representation concurs with this view of a strengthening used vehicle market in Q3 of 2010 versus the prior year and Q2 of 2010.
“Interestingly, our statistics indicate that within our premium Stratstone division consumers are switching to cars over three years old as opposed to cars under three years old.
"Furthermore, when comparing Q3 2010 with Q2 2010, within our volume Evans Halshaw division our average sales price has fallen by 2.1% indicating that consumers are still seeking value in these tight economic conditions.”
Bucking the trend with a fall in sales were the luxury (-0.2%) and upper medium (2.56%) segments. The lower medium and supermini segments had the highest number of sales, with 499,681 and 554,083 units sold.
Ford remains the top-selling make with 14% (260,067) of all used cars sales during Q3. With over 76,000 units sold the best selling car by volume in Q3 2010 was the Vauxhall Corsa. Mercedes Benz saw the biggest improvement, seeing sales rise by 14.3 per cent increase year-on-ear.
Sales of electric and hybrid models continued to increase, rising by 36.7% and 46% respectively. Petrol cars still dominate the market, accounting for 72.2% of sales.