Used electric car sales nearly double in one year

Sales of second-hand electric cars have almost doubled in the past year, according to the latest data.

Since January 2023 sales of used EVs have soared 90.9%, to a record 118,973 units.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that electric cars now represent 1.6% of the overall used car market – up from 0.9% in 2022. The SMMT says that the uplift is in line with the new car sector and shows there is a keen demand for EVs in the more affordable second-hand market.

The news comes after new private EV registrations slipped for a third consecutive month. While January saw the one millionth electric car registered in the UK, private purchases were down by a quarter compared with January 2024. In contrast, fleet sales were up more than 40% as more and more businesses embrace electrification.

While the effects of that will take time to trickle down, it should mean far greater availability and growth in the used EV market within the next few years.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT said: “A healthy new car market is key to driving choice in the used sector and it’s great to see record numbers of second and third owners benefitting from the growing availability of electric vehicles.

“The demand is there, but to sustain it we must enable every motorist to make the switch. The upcoming Budget is a prime opportunity for government to do just that – halving VAT on new EVs, while making public charging as easy and affordable as plugging in at home, would ensure a faster and fairer transition for all, giving the UK a green economic boost.”

The jump in EV sales outstripped the overall growth of the used car market substantially, which was up by around 5%. Sales of hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars were also strong, up by 40.0% and 25.1% respectively and, collectively, electrified vehicles represented 5.6% of the market – up from 4.0% in 2022.

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Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.