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UK Demand For Used Hybrid, Electric Vehicles Soars

Sales of used hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK jumped by 28.6 percent annually in the third quarter of 2018, the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) said in its Q3 used car sales statistics.  

Buyers in Britain continued flocking to alternative fuel vehicles in the summer months, with transactions for these types of used cars just shy of 30,000, SMMT says. The overall used car market in the UK fell by 2.1 percent to 2,057,547 vehicles changing hands. Of those, gasoline and diesel cars were almost 850,000, with sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles down by 2.3 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, SMMT said.

But demand for alternative fuel vehicles surged “as consumers took advantage of the increasing range of ultra-low and zero emission cars entering the second-hand market, with pure electric cars posting an 8.3% jump in sales over the same period.”

“It is encouraging that the UK used car market has remained solid in the third quarter of the year, and good news that there is growing enthusiasm for alternatively powered vehicles,” Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said in a statement.

“The right policies and incentives from government are needed to encourage new car buyers to take up the latest, cleanest petrol, diesel and electric models that best suit their driving needs. This would be the best way for these advanced technologies to filter through to the used market, helping to accelerate fleet renewal to improve air quality and meet climate change goals,” Hawes noted.

“However, whilst AFVs undoubtedly represent an exciting opportunity for retailers, significant growth may be hampered by a lack of availability,” Auto Trader director Ian Plummer told Motor Trader, commenting on the SMMT figures.

Just after Q3 ended, the UK government introduced changes last month to the financial incentives of the UK’s Plug-In Car Grant, cutting the grant for plug-in hybrids and ceasing to offer incentives for some other categories, which could remove a crucial incentive for buyers to purchase new low-emission vehicles.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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