Ford Fiesta tops 2022 used car sales list, EV popularity also soars

Ford Fiesta

Ford will end Fiesta production this summer after 47 years and eight generations

But overall, UK used car sales dip for third year running, down 8.5% on 2021 and 13.2% on pre-pandemic 2019

The soon-to-be-axed Ford Fiesta topped the UK used car sales in 2022 amid another disappointing year for the market in which over 640,000 fewer cars changed hands than in 2021.

Seen as surplus to requirements by its US maker – which is scrambling to save cash after posting a $2 billion (£1.65bn) loss in 2022 – the Fiesta will exit production this summer but it is still a favourite among the British public, with 288,639 used examples changing hands in 2022. Its closest challenger, the Vauxhall Corsa, recorded 229,454 used sales.

Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed a mixed year for the country’s used car market, with an 8.5% overall decline on 2021 (to 6,890,777) – and 13.2% down on pre-pandemic 2019 – bolstered by a record year for pure-electric transactions.

The EV segment bucked the overall trend, with 71,071 cars swapping hands, a rise of 37.5%. This figure also meant an increase in its overall market share to 1%, from 0.7% in 2021. 

This rise cemented pure-electric cars as a more popular option than their plug-in hybrid counterparts, which recorded a small, 3.6% rise in sales (to 55,053). Mild-hybrid sales remained strongest, up 8.5% to 155,055.

However, electrified vehicles represented just 4.1% of the market (up from 3.3% in 2021). While transactions of used diesel and petrol cars fell by 11.8% and 7.7% respectively, they remained the dominant powertrains, with a combined 6,594,880 cars sold.

The SMMT blamed the overall market’s decline on a lack of cars trickling into the used car market, a direct result of the new car market being impacted by the global shortage of semiconductors.

There was cause for optimism in December’s figures, when sales increased by 0.8% – the first monthly rise since February. Although only a small increase, it was hailed as significant by SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

This was backed by news that Q4 (1 October – 31 December), despite falling 4.3%, was less of a decline than the previous quarters: Q2 down 18.8%, Q3 down 12.2%.

Hawes said: “While the market headlines are negative, and reflective of the squeeze on new car supply last year, record electrified vehicle uptake is a bright spot and demonstrates a growing appetite for these models. 

“With new car registrations growth expected this year, more of the latest low- and zero-emission models should become available to second owners. 

“Accelerating uptake is key and will be dependent on drivers being assured of a positive ownership experience. This means ensuring charging infrastructure keeps pace with demand as more new and used car buyers make the switch to zero-emission motoring than ever before.”

Across the year, black was the colour of choice for used car buyers, with 1,487,376 black cars sold. This was followed by blue (1,129,625) and grey (1,122,890)

Source: Autocar

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