Sales of used pure electric cars have reached a record high, according to new figures.
Some 14,586 used battery electric cars were bought in the UK during the first three months of the year, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.
That is more than double the total of 6,625 during the same period last year, with the market share of used electric vehicles rising from 1.6% to 3.6%.
Sales of used hybrids and plug-in hybrids also changed hands in greater numbers between January and March, up 35.3% and 28.8% respectively.
That is compared to the figure for new car registrations over the same period, which was 34.1%.
Overall, the number of used cars bought in the first quarter of this year increased by 5.1% compared with 2021, boosted by the 14.3% drop in new car sales, which were hit by a global lack of semiconductors.
SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: “With the new car market hampered by ongoing global supply shortages, growth in the used car market is welcome, if unsurprising especially given we were in lockdown last year.
“Electric car sales are energising the market, with zero emission vehicles starting to filter through in larger numbers to consumers looking forward to driving the latest and greenest vehicles.
“Although there is some way to go before we see the recent growth in new EVs replicated in the used market, a buoyant new car market will be vital to help drive fleet renewal which is essential to the delivery of carbon savings.”
“Consumer-led push towards electrification continues unabated”
Hugo Griffiths, features editor at carwow said: “The consumer-led push towards electrification continues unabated, with sales of second-hand EVs experiencing a record quarter, up 120.2%.
“A combination of factors is driving this surge. Supply-chain constraints for new EVs is pushing increasing numbers of buyers to the used market, where there has never been a greater choice of electric cars, including models for those with tighter budgets.”
He continued: “Rising petrol and diesel prices are also having an effect on consumer habits, something backed up by the spikes in demand carwow sees for EVs following fuel-price hikes.
“A desire for cleaner motoring is undoubtedly influencing buyer behaviour too, as is the growing number of emission zones appearing across the country.
“But while the shift towards electric cars is happening organically, petrol and diesel models still make up the vast majority of the used market.
“City cars, SUVs and superminis saw surges in demand in Q1 2022, but canny buyers may wish to take advantage of a fall in the popularity of people carriers: sales of used MPVs were down 7.5% last quarter, meaning those after practical, affordable motoring could bag themselves a relative bargain by hunting out cars that other drivers may have overlooked.”