Used vehicle economy growing, research suggests

One third of the UK’s ‘pre-loved’ economy is made up of used vehicles, according to research from Motorway and the CEBR

The pre-loved economy is estimated to be worth £6.5bn in 2022, up from £3.8bn in 2018 and set to grow to £12.6bn by 2027, according to research carried out by Motorway and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

Used vehicles now represent a third of the pre-loved economy with a value of £2.2bn. While the ongoing semiconductor shortage, causing delays for manufacturers bringing new cars to market, has driven some of this rising demand for used-cars, it also comes down to price and what people can afford.
The research revealed that overall cost pressures are the main cause behind those turning to pre-loved and used goods, while greater accessibility through the prevalence of online marketplaces like Motorway is also a key factor – in fact, the percentage of second-hand goods sold via online marketplaces jumped from 57% in 2017 to 74% in 2022. With more than 1,000 cars going into its daily sales, Motorway has become a key driver in helping to fuel the used car market.

Two-thirds of Brits who bought pre-loved goods in the past year (66%) stated that saving money is a key reason behind their purchase of pre-loved goods, suggesting that cost-of-living concerns have prompted a shift in shoppers’ preferences. Four in 10 (42%) shoppers purchase pre-loved items to support a good cause, while a rise in environmentally conscious shoppers (36%) who believe in a more sustainable way to shop, has also contributed to the growing economy.

The regions of London, the South East, and the South West see the highest absolute expenditure on pre-loved goods, accounting for more than a third (37%) of the total pre-loved market in the UK.
James Bush, Sales Director at Motorway said: “With the used-vehicle market making up a third of the value of the pre-loved economy, we want to make sure our dealer partners have access to as much privately owned stock as possible to fill their forecourts. With more than 1,000 cars going into our daily sales, our network of dealers has a constant stream of quality private stock to choose from – with no middleman taking a cut. In these unprecedented times, when quality used car stock is becoming harder for dealerships to acquire, our dealer partners can rely on us to help fuel the used-car market, providing high quality, used-car stock every day.”

Owen Good, Head of Economic Advisory at CEBR said: “Our analysis highlights the considerable contribution of the pre-loved market to the UK economy at £6.5 billion, with the total value of the market expected to double over the next five years, highlighting the traction pre-loved goods have gained amongst consumers. This is especially pertinent given the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and severely dampened spending power of consumers, with our research finding that the value offered by the pre-loved market is a key driver of its growth over the last several years.”

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