Used car sales hit five year high in 2013
New analysis from Experian, the global information services company today reveals a 0.9% uplift in used car sales with 6,806,198 used cars changing hands in 2013 compared to 2012. Not since 2008 have used car sales been so high when annual sales were recorded at 7,208,100.
Car models aged nine years or older had a good year in 2013 with annual sales rising by over six per cent making it the most popular age category for used cars. Sales of more recent models aged three to six years and six to nine years both dropped by 4.4%.
UK’s favorite used car
For the second year running the Ford Focus kept its crown as the best selling used car in the UK with a 3.67% increase in sales this year up to 312,221 from 301,154 in 2012. It was closely followed by the Ford Fiesta and the Vauxhall Corsa both selling over three million models.
Bigger is better
Looking at the different segments, Experian figures showed that the biggest growth in used car sales came from larger models with the ever-popular MPV and 4X4 categories both on the rise (4.6% and 4.3% respectively). The most popular selling MPV was the Vauxhall Zafira with just under 100,000 units sold in 2013.
Alternative fuel models have been seeing double digit growth since records began and 2013 did not break this trend. Sales of hybrid cars were up by 31. 8% while electric cars experienced a 20.2% uplift in sales. The Toyota Prius was still the star model of the hybrid segment, dominating 40% of sales in that category and the Nissan Leaf was the best-selling electric model in 2013.
The North/South brand divide
Regionally, Experian’s analysis shows the country is still divided, with those living in the North of England and Scotland preferring Vauxhalls whilst Ford remained the favorite brand for car buyers from the South East, South West, East Anglia, West Midlands and Wales.
Most regions attributed to the overall upward trend in used car sales, with East Anglia leading the way – up 8.08% on 2012. Only Greater London and the North West experienced a slight decline compared to last year (1.18% and 1.09% respectively).
Keith Ambrose, managing director of Experian Automotive commented: “Used Car sales data allows automotive organisations to recognise the preferences of their customers and fulfil their requirements at a geographical level. This means they adopt a much more personalised service to increase sales opportunities and encourage growth.
The 2013 figures reveal that car buyers are increasingly turning to older used car models. However, the older a car is, the longer its history will be and it’s imperative that car buyers safeguard themselves by getting a full history check. This will bring to light any potential issues with the car including previous write-offs and outstanding finance agreements. Whether this is obtained privately before buying a car direct from the seller or seeing an AutoCheck report as part of the sales process with a dealer, it will prevent any nasty surprises further down the road.”