Motor Insurance

Hope for cheaper electric vehicles as used EV sales double

Electric vehicles are beginning to filter into the second-hand car market, making it cheaper to go green.

Twice as many electric vehicles were sold on the used car market in the third quarter of 2023 compared with the same time last year.

A record 34,021 used fully battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were sold between July and September, up 99.9% year on year according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Plug-in hybrids and hybrids also grew, up 34.6% and 46.4%.

BEVs now represent a record 1.8% of the used vehicle market, up from 1% last year.

NimbleFins research shows the average cost of a new electric car in the UK is about £50,000, but prices range from £22,225 up to £157,160.

The SMMT puts the used car sales rise across the market down to a "robust increase in supply".

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "The used car market continues to grow strongly, with re-energised supply unlocking demand for pre-owned electric vehicles – the result being twice as many motorists switching to zero emission motoring in the quarter.

"Maintaining this momentum requires growth in the new car market, to boost supply to the used sector and cement this success. Equally important is the urgent need for charging infrastructure rollout, so that all drivers can have confidence in being able to charge whenever and wherever they need."

Speaking at the EV summit 2023 in Oxford this month, Michael Oates, Tesla's UK sales and deliveries lead, said: “Once the early adopters have adopted, we need to start getting in front of new audiences, those who haven’t necessarily considered an electric car as their next purchase.

“That’s why I believe that used cars are absolutely pivotal to ensure that as many people as possible can experience the sheer joy of owning and driving an electric car.”

Most popular used cars

The Ford Fiesta remained the top traded car, with nearly 80,000 transactions in Q3 2023.

This was followed by the Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Golf.

Black remains the most popular colour, followed by grey and blue.

Superminis - a class of car that sits between a city car and a hatchback - remained the most popular type of vehicle sold on the used car market, accounting for about a third of transactions.

While the majority of the used car market saw an increase in sales, sports and luxury saloons were the only segments to see a decline in sales falling 1.8% and 2.5% respectively.

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Helen Barnett

Helen is a journalist, editor and copywriter with 15 years' experience writing across print and digital publications. She previously edited the Daily Express website and has won awards as a reporter. Read more here.


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