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SUVs buck the trend as Q2 used car sales volumes drop by 2%

Used car sales dropped by 2% from April to June, from 1,761,916 units down to 1,726,627 units.

According to the latest Used Car Index figures from Experian all segments saw a drop in sales compared to Q2 2011 with the exception of the biggest, with 4x4 (including Range Rover Vogue and BMW X5) segments enjoying nearly a 5% increase.

In addition, small cars had a better quarter, with the supermini segment (including Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Fiesta) seeing a 0.75% increase in sales.

Having seen sales consistently increase over recent years, electric models showed a 15.91% drop in sales compared to the same period last year. The hybrid segment, whose best-selling model is the Toyota Prius, still managed to increase sales with 47.26% more units sold compared to 2011. Overall, petrol models still dominate, representing 68% of cars sold.

Scotland bucked the trend with sales up by 0.30%.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the worst performing region was the West Midlands experiencing a 7.90% drop in sales.

As in Q1 2012, the Ford Focus was the best-selling used car of the quarter selling over 75,000 vehicles from April to June. The Volkswagen Polo lost its place in the top ten as the Ford Ka re-entered the best-selling models list at number 10.

Andrew Ballard, principal consultant at Experian Automotive in the UK and Ireland, said: “At a time when dealers are looking to take advantage of every sales opportunity, analysing the used car market to identify changes in the best performing segments and understanding regional sales dynamics is incredibly useful.

“Although the market has experienced an overall drop in sales, identifying resilient segments, such as the 4x4 and supermini, is exactly the type of insight dealerships can use to acquire the most profitable stock mix.”

Download Experian's Q2 Used Car Index stats.

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