Buyers flock to embrace used cars powered by alternative fuels

May 01, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

The latest figures from Experian suggest that drivers in the UK are turning away from traditional fossil fuels and deciding to seek out used cars which harness alternatives, according to Business Car.

Over the course of 2013 there was a 31.8 per cent rise in demand for alternative-fuel cars on the second hand market. And perhaps unsurprisingly it was the Toyota Prius which managed to come out on top yet again, with 40 per cent of hybrid vehicles sold coming from this range.

Hybrid Hopes

The Prius had a bit of a head start over many of its rivals and it is a brand that has become synonymous with eco-friendly motoring.

The uptick in demand for alternative-fuel used cars is an indicator not only of broader public interest in sustainable motoring, but also that the stigma attached to choosing a vehicle which is more environmentally sound has largely disintegrated in recent years.

Customers seeking used cars in Sheffield and in the other major cities of the UK are especially well positioned to choose hybrid or all-electric vehicles.

Urban driving, which is defined by the stop-start shuffle of congestion, can result in very inefficient use of petrol-powered cars. But vehicles like the Prius which have electric motors to hand are much better suited to this environment.

And of course drivers who do want to go green can use sites like to seek out second hand alternative-fuel models, saving cash at both ends of the spectrum.

Electric Dreams

While the Prius is a hybrid, sales of all-electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf were up by a fifth in 2013. This still represents a very small portion of the market when taken as a whole, but the introduction of the Leaf last year should have a significant impact in 2014 as well, especially as used examples start to trickle into the marketplace.

The Experian survey considered not only the impact of eco-conscious motoring, but also the wider used car market over the course of last year. And although sales are rising for certain niche segments, the most popular makes and models are fairly consistent.

The Ford Focus and Fiesta sat alongside Vauxhall’s Corsa and Astra ranges at the top of the tree, just ahead of models with slightly higher prestige like the BMW 3 Series and the VW Golf.

Although Ford’s popularity is cemented with super minis and family hatchbacks, it has seen the Mondeo saloon slip from its dominant position down to number 10 in the list of the most popular used cars. So perhaps it is in need of a major revamp, or possibly this is simply a sign that tastes have changed and the Mondeo no longer fits the bill in an age dominated by SUV crossovers.

The buoyancy of the UK’s second hand car market and the resurgence of the auto industry in the years following the 2008 credit crunch is a positive sign for the economy as a whole.

Image attributed to Stoonn

About the Author

An aspiring filmmaker, a chai addict, a part time teacher and writer, Aleena Mashhood shares her views from time to time about anything she feels strongly about.

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