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Used car sales reach seven-year high

Used car sales rose by 2.6% in the third quarter of last year to reach their highest point since 2008, according to Experian.

Data from the global information services company showed a total of 1.86million used cars were sold in Great Britain between July and September last year, compared to 1.82million the corresponding months in 2013. It represented the strongest period for used car sales since the second quarter of 2008 when 1.92million vehicles changed hands.

The number of used cars aged nine years or more sold was up by 7.1% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2014. Sales of used cars aged up to three years increased by 4.3%, but there was a drop in transactions of vehicles aged between three and six years (3.4%) and six and nine years (3.9%).

Used car sales went up by 5.8% in the North West of England, the largest increase of any region, followed by sales surges in the South West of England (4.3%) and Scotland (4.2%). However, the number of used cars changing hands in East Anglia dipped by 17%.

Strategy director at Experian Automotive Andrew Ballard said: “More people are considering changing their car, as demonstrated by the strong performance of new car registrations throughout last year. But, our data shows it’s not just new cars which are catching the eye - motorists aren’t scared of cars which have been on the road for nine years or more, probably because they are often more affordable.

“It’s vital that car dealerships understand regional changes in demand to help them make sure they are able to meet their customers’ needs. The increasing age of vehicles changing hands underlines the importance of carrying out comprehensive vehicle history checks to avoid any nasty surprises.”

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