Sales of used pure electric cars in the UK reached a record high, revealing pent-up demand and exposing a need to improve supply chains, car dealers said.
As traders tackle lengthy delays in the supply of new vehicles, the used car market has become the hottest ticket in town.
There were 16,775 used pure battery electric cars bought in the UK between July and September, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.
That is a 44.1 per cent increase over the same period last year.
“Given the short supply of new cars due largely to sustained chip shortages, a declining used-car market comes as little surprise, although it's great to see a growing number of used buyers able to get into an electric car,” SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said.
“The demand is clearly there and to feed it we need a buoyant new-car market, which means giving buyers confidence to invest.
“Next week's autumn statement is an opportunity for the government to make a long-term fiscal commitment to zero emission motoring, including adequate public charging infrastructure, which, especially given the economic headwinds, would go a long way to stimulating the market and delivering both economic and net zero progress.”
The details were released while the Cop27 environmental summit is held in Egypt and the UK endures rising energy prices, partly a fall-out from the war in Ukraine.
Sales of used hybrid electrics were up 2.5 per cent year on year, but demand for plug-in hybrids fell by 5.8 per cent.
Alex Buttle, co-founder of used-car marketplace Motorway.co.uk, said: “Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming the hottest ticket in town.
“With lengthy wait times for new cars of up to a year, motorists have realised the used-car market is the quickest, as well as most affordable, way to make their switch to electric.
“As more drivers make the leap, demand for used EVs will continue to soar.”
The market share of all used electrified cars rose from 3.3 per cent to 4 per cent
The overall number of used cars bought between July and September was 1.8 million, which is the first time quarterly transactions dipped below two million since 2015.
This decrease of 12.2 per cent compared with the same period in 2021 was attributed to supply shortages for new cars.