UK Used Car Industry Statistics

Mark DeanMark Dean

Cars are one of the most popular items to sell second-hand, with an estimated 7.53 million sold in the UK last year alone. The industry is huge, with nearly 13,000 used car dealerships across the country, not including the numerous websites like eBay and Autotrader which also boast huge catalogues of used vehicles.

The industry, despite a decrease in sales for two years due to Coronavirus, is not showing any long-term signs of slowing down either, with sales increasing each quarter recently and a notable rise in the sale of used electric vehicles as well.

But just how big is the used car industry in the UK? What is the most popular used car model? How are prices going to develop over the next few years? This article has summed up the key statistics on the UK second-hand car industry.

How big is the used car market in the UK?

In 2021, approximately 7,530,000 used cars were sold in the UK. This means that, of the 9,180,000 total cars sold in 2021, used cars make up a massive 82%.

How much is the used car market worth?

The used car market is worth nearly 117.69 billion dollars.

How many used cars were sold in the UK in 2021?

There were 7,530,956 used cars sold in the UK in 2021.

How much has the used car market grown?

Since 2016, the used car market has actually shrunk by 8%, dropping from 8,200,000 sold to 7,530,956 sold in 2021. However, as the chart shows, this drop can be explained by the pandemic, with chip shortages and overall demand for vehicles dropping.

With the market currently experiencing a dip, you may be wondering what this is doing to the prices of used cars. Here are some more stats for you:

How are used car prices at the moment?

Used car prices are on the rise due to a scarcity of vehicles on the market, with November 2022 seeing a 5.57% price increase on the average used car when compared to October. This continues a trend that has been building throughout the year.

Are used cars more expensive in 2022?

When compared to 2021, used car prices have dropped 3.5%, implying that 2021 was likely the peak of pricing and they will eventually drop.

So, having learnt some interesting statistics on the UK used car industry as a whole, let’s dig into the market in a bit more detail.

Which used cars sell the most?

In Q2 2021 over 94,000 used Ford Fiestas were registered in the UK, making it the most popular used car. This was followed by the Vauxhall Corsa coming in second, with the Ford Focus rounding out the top three.

Which used cars are worth the most?

With demand high and availability low, some used cars have skyrocketed in value over the last 12 months. The biggest winner is the Toyota Auris Hybrid which saw an average price increase of 69%.

Which used car colours are the most popular?

In this order, the most popular used car colours in the UK were black, silver, blue, grey, white, and red.

As the world becomes more environmentally friendly (and London keeps pushing the ULEZ), electric cars are becoming increasingly popular, however, they still have a long way to go before they are taking up any sizeable portion of the used car market.

How many used cars sold in the UK are electric?

Whilst the sale of new electric cars is up 57.1% in the second quarter of 2022, used electric cars still only take up less than 1% of the total used car market.

However, you can expect this number to rise as more electric cars make their way onto the used market after the boom in sales of new ones.

How is the used electric car market growing?

Whilst making up for just a small percentage of overall used car sales, the sale of used electric vehicles has grown 57% in Q2 2022.

Now, we know WHAT sorts of cars people are buying, but where are they buying them, and when?

When is the best time to buy a used car?

January, February, and December are statistically the best time to buy a used car, with January, in particular, experiencing a 28.6% increase in deals against an average.

How many used car businesses are in the UK?

There are 12,781 used car dealerships in the UK as of 2022.

Which regions in the UK have the most used car dealerships?

The most popular regions in the UK for used car dealerships are the South East with 15 businesses, and then the East of England the North West with 11 each.

What is the most popular place to buy used cars?

The single largest used car business in the UK is Arnold Clark, holding the largest single share of the market.

Arnold Clark location map
Arnold Clark location map

Given the turbulent times the used car market in the UK is currently experiencing, you may be wondering where the market is headed in the future. Here are some predictions:

What are the predictions for the UK used car market?

Predictions state that the used car market is expected to grow 11.5% annually up to 2027. This would represent an increase from a market value of 117.69 billion dollars to around 226.2 billion dollars.

Will the used electric car market grow?

Current predictions state that used electric cars are expected to account for one-third of the UK used car market by 2030, meaning it would jump from 1% to 33% in just under 10 years.

electric vehicle charging
Electric vehicles on the rise

And there it is, a statistical overview of the used car industry. We hope you found these statistics useful, and remember, use Shiply when you need something delivered!

Sources: Heycar 1, Heycar2, Heycar 3, Autotrader, Motor1, Admiral, BusinessInsider, Cars,, Ibisworld, Statista 1, Statista 2

Mark Dean