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UK records rapid increase in used car sales in Q2

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Used car sales increased at their fastest rate for almost 10 years to nearly 1.9 million vehicles, according to the latest data from Experian.

The number of cars transacted rose by 7.3% compared to the same period in 2014, the greatest rise since Experian’s records began in 2005.

A total of 1.87 million used cars changed hands between April and June this year, the highest figure since Q2 2008, compared to 1.74 million in the second quarter of 2014.

Regions in the North and the Midlands saw the greatest increase in the sale of used cars.

The North West’s second quarter used car sales rose by 10.3% compared to the same period in 2014, while Yorkshire and The Humber experienced a 9.9% increase. Sales went up in all regions of Britain, but the smallest increase was the South West‘s rise of 3.8%.

Sales of cars aged nine or more years old surged by 11% in the three-month period, but transactions of those aged between six and nine years dropped by 5% over the same quarter.

The 7.3% rise in the second quarter follows a smaller increase in the first three months of the year. Used car sales went up by one per cent between January and March this year to reach 1.77 million, compared to the corresponding period in 2014.

More than 84,000 Ford Fiestas were sold in the second quarter of 2015, making it Britain’s top selling used car. The Fiesta was closely followed by Ford’s Focus and Vauxhall’s Corsa and Astra. These models also consistently dominate the new car registration figures and make up a large proportion of vehicles on the road.

Andrew Ballard, Experian automotive director, said: “Motor traders will be encouraged to see used sales reach their highest since the economic downturn in 2008.

“The surge in sales suggests the used car market is beginning to keep pace with new registrations, which rose by 9.3% last year, according to the SMMT.

“Attractive finance deals have been a big factor in encouraging people to change cars, whether for new or used. Competitive deals on PCPs have led to more people buying new cars because it’s an affordable monthly cost, while these finance deals only tend to apply to younger used vehicles.

“However, used cars can be made more appealing by building trust and removing concerns of a ‘hidden history’ by displaying a provenance check alongside the vehicle listing, so people know they are browsing a car which hasn’t been written off or stolen, or has outstanding finance. Warranty packages and service plans can also help people plan for the monthly cost of owning a car.”

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