The used car market had its best ever second quarter as sales increased by 108.6 per cent compared to the same period last year.

According to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 2,167,504 used cars changed hands between April and June – representing a 6.6 per cent increase on 2019’s pre-pandemic levels, and making it the best quarter ever for used cars.

The SMMT says the segment has been helped by the ‘increased demand for personal mobility’, and also ‘shortages in the new car market’, which is leading many to turn to used cars instead.

The most popular used car was the Ford Fiesta (94,206 sold), followed by the Vauxhall Corsa (73,366) and Ford Focus (72,105). The BMW 3 Series (48,849) was the most popular premium used car, while Nissan’s Qashqai (35,897) was the most popular SUV to change hands.

Figures also show an increased demand for plug-in hybrid and electric cars, with both of these up by around 350 per cent in the second quarter, if only accounting for a relatively small 1.3 per cent market share.

Black also continues to be the most popular colour for used cars, accounting for 461,050 used models sold, followed by silver (363,529) and blue (362,140). More surprisingly, brighter colours like orange and yellow accounted for 16,289 and 11,415 used cars respectively.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “This is welcome news for the used car market as transactions rebounded following nationwide lockdowns which closed retailers. More motorists are turning to used cars as supply shortages continue to affect the new car market, and the increased need for personal mobility with people remaining wary of public transport as they return to work.

“A buoyant used car market is necessary to maintain strong residual values which, in turn, supports new car transactions. We now need to see a similar rebound in new car sales to accelerate the fleet renewal necessary to deliver immediate and continuous improvements in air quality and carbon emissions.”