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Premium brands buck small decline in used car sales

Sales of premium brand used vehicles, led by BMWs and Audis, bucked a small decline in sales volumes with year-on-year increases of 2.76% and 8.57% respectively.

According to Experian’s UK used car sales statistics for the third quarter of 2011, the luxury car segment was in contrast to premium and led the fall in used car sales with a 7.85% drop compared to 2010.

A total of 1,749,417 used cars were sold during July, August and September, a 2.88% decrease in sales when compared to Q3 2010 (1,801,258) and also a drop of 0.71% since Q2 2011 (1,761,916).

Despite the majority of segments seeing a sales decrease, the 4x4 (including Range Rover Sport and BMW X5), MPV (including Vauxhall Zafira and the Renault Scenic) and mini (Smart Fortwo and Fiat Seicento) categories all saw rises compared to Q3 2010 of 2.56%, 0.87% and 0.59% respectively.

Regionally, the north west saw the biggest decline compared to Q3 2010, with sales down by 4.61%. Scotland was the only region to see an uplift in sales both year-on-year and since last quarter (0.60 and 1.91% respectively).

Alistair Scullion, managing director of Experian Automotive in the UK and Ireland, said: "Despite the slight drop in used car sales this quarter, the strong performance of the 4x4, MPV and mini categories and the continuing popularity of higher end brands points to growth opportunities in a challenging market environment."

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