Britain’s used car market held strong in 2018’s second quarter, with sales down by a marginal -0.4%. These figures have just been released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 2,093,429 vehicles changed hands, just 8,725 fewer than Q2 2017.

Superminis remained the most popular segment, despite a -2.6% decline in transactions, accounting for a third of the market. This was followed by small and medium-sized family cars. SUVs and executive models experienced the biggest growth, with demand up 10.7% and 3.9% respectively.

Diesel cars’ popularity grew 3.2%, with some 868,573 used buyers in Q2, residual values stayed strong year-on-year. Petrol transactions fell -3.3% in the same period. Demand for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles grew by more than a quarter. Sales figures were 26,832  – 5,417 more than a year ago.

Elsewhere, trends closely followed the new car market, with black the UK’s most popular used car colour for a second consecutive quarter followed by silver and blue. White car sales grew fastest, up 9.8%, followed by orange, up 9.1%. Meanwhile, green and maroon lost most favour among buyers, falling -14.6% and -9.6% respectively.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “It’s great to see the used car sector remain in robust health as motorists take advantage of the exciting high-tech models filtering down from the new sector – including some of the latest low emission diesel and alternatively fuelled vehicles. With used sales so closely reflecting the new car market, some cooling is expected over the coming months. Fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality and reduce CO2; we need greater business and consumer confidence to keep both markets moving.”