Used car sales hit lowest volume in Q1 2013

Electric and hybrid models buck the trend with the highest increase in sales 

4x4s continue to perform well, enjoying a 7.4 per cent rise in sales

Nottingham, UK, 3 July 2013 – Experian®, the global information services company, today published its latest Used Car Sales Index, revealing the lowest first quarter sales figures since 20051 .

A total of 1,653,668 used cars were sold from January to March this year, which represents a 5 per cent decrease compared to the same quarter in 2012, when used car sales hit the highest Q1 since 2009. 

Despite challenging conditions, both electric and hybrid models continued to show significant increases in sales with a 13.6 per cent and a 13.1 per cent uplift on Q1 2012, respectively.

The only segment to enjoy an uplift in sales compared to Q1 2012, was the 4x4 (such as Range Rover Vogue and BMW X5) – up 7.4 per cent.  The Specialist Sports category (including the Audi TT and the Mazda MX5) saw the most significant fall – down 10.4 per cent on Q1 of last year.  The Upper Medium segment was the second hardest hit (which includes the Ford Mondeo and the BMW3 series) with a 10.1 per cent drop in sales on Q1 2012. 

Across the UK, all areas experienced a decrease in used car sales in the first quarter of 2013, with sales in Greater London falling by 7.9 per cent and sales in Scotland experiencing the second highest fall at 6.7 per cent, compared to Q1 2012.

The Ford Focus kept its crown as best-selling used car of the quarter selling over 77,000 units from January to March. The Volkswagen Polo retained its position in the top ten narrowly overtaking sales of the Ford KA, which kept it out of the top ranked used cars in Q2 and Q3 last year. In addition, Volkswagen and Nissan were the only two to see an increase in used car sales - up by 1.2 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.

Andrew Ballard, Principle Consultant at Experian Automotive, commented: “Our figures show that some categories are consistently performing well even in a challenging environment.  Electric and hybrid vehicles, and also the 4x4 segment, have shown strong growth in used car sales indicating that reliable mobility in harsher weather conditions plus environmental and cost saving factors are front of mind.   These trends are important indicators for dealerships when identifying and building the optimum, profitable stock mix.”

Used Car tables
1Experian’s Used Car Sales Index began in 2005.



Natalie Fox
PR Manager
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