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Used market sees growth in demand for hybrids

Jon Mitchell, Indicata’s group sales director

Used hybrid cars are gaining popularity in the used car market, according to new data from Indicata.

Sales of used hybrid models grew by 8% in May – the same as petrols - while the stock turn of hybrids was up by 24% in the same month.

Diesel models saw the largest growth, with a 10% uplift in sales.

Electric cars, meanwhile, continue to be hampered by high values when compared to petrol or diesel equivalents.

Jon Mitchell (pictured), Indicata’s group sales director, said: “We have seen hybrids hold their own in the market since the beginning of the year and this is a sign that consumers are content with putting them on a used car shortlist alongside petrol and diesel.

“That can be put down to increased education by the industry and acceptability from drivers. EVs will need to tread this same path over the coming years.”

Indicata data shows the UK experienced another month of super rates of used car growth in May (+224.2% YoY) as its late lockdown during the first pandemic meant used car sales were down dramatically in March, April, and May 2020.

This strong demand in May 2021 against a background of reduced supply helped push up average prices by 7.5% during May.

Despite the high market prices demand remains strong and contributed to a 7.1% fall in used stock levels at dealers between May and early June. With the semiconductor shortage restricting new car supply and in turn the volume of used cars coming to market, prices look set to remain very high for the remainder of 2021.

“In May we witnessed one of the biggest price rises in a single month that we have ever seen, and the market looks set to continue at this level. This has not impacted sales growth and the result is a shortage of used stock across the industry. This will continue throughout 2021 fuelled by the fall in manufacturer new car production,” Mitchell added.

A quarter of UK drivers plan to buy a hybrid powered car next, according to recent research from Close Brothers.

In its latest Britain Under the Bonnet report, the finance business found that the popularity of hybrids, like the Toyota Prius, has soared in the last 12 months.

The research found that one in five (22%) drivers intend to purchase a petrol vehicle – down from 37% last year. This comes as more car manufacturers announce their intentions to end production of petrol and diesel engine vehicles in line with the Government’s 2030 ban.

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