In the UK alone, there have been 243,000 Google searches in the past month for the term ‘used cars’, which is a vast contrast to searches for ‘new cars’, which has just 31,000 searches. It comes as no surprise then, that in the past year, 82% of all car sales in the UK were used cars. 

This, alongside the global supply chain crisis, including computer chip shortages have indicated new car businesses have been severely hit.

It’s hard to pinpoint an average waiting time for a new car, but it could take between 13 and 52 weeks depending on the model.

“I ordered my car in June 2021 and was told I’d receive it in September 2021. I sold my old car in September, thinking I would get the new one soon, however, I didn’t get one until January 2022, meaning I had to wait 32 weeks. It was a big inconvenience as I work in an inaccessible area, so I had to either use my mum’s car to get to work or walk”, says Katie Gourlay, 24 from Ayrshire, Scotland.

The Vauxhall Corsa was the most popular used car sold in 2021 and to date in 2022. Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Ford and Toyota topped the list for the most used car sales in 2021.

Should you consider buying a used car?

Andy McDonald, Underwriting and Product Development Manager at Tradesure Insurance, said:  

“The used car market is absolutely booming right now and isn’t showing signs of slowing down. The good news is that a decent second-hand car, well looked after, can stand you in good stead for years to come and not break the bank or depreciate steeply like a new motor.” 

Andy recommends “looking for cars that are around five years old as they are less likely to need expensive replacements at this age and look for a mileage of 80-100k.”  

Used electric vehicles are also on the rise

 INDICATA Market Watch has indicated that Used electric car sales are now matching sales of diesel and petrol vehicles with a 68% increase in sales reported for April 2022. 

According to data from Google Trends, searches for ‘used electric vehicles for sale’ are up by 387% in the past month. 

Chris Butterworth, a sustainability-driven design technologist and strategist at Yard, says: “While battery technologies aren’t quite there yet when it comes to range in comparison to a combustion engine, having the average journey a lot shorter means that it becomes easier to adopt, especially with new legislation for newly built homes to have an EV charging point fitted as standard.”  

“The rise in EV car sales lines up nicely with the fact that more cities up and down the UK have plans to implement low emission zones over the coming months, which means that drivers will see more potential savings when making their daily commute”, adds Butterworth.   

When it comes to insurance, Andy McDonald says: 

“Insuring electric vehicles is becoming easier and less expensive, as insurers adapt to changes in the car insurance market.”