Demand for AFV hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric cars continued to grow in Q1, up 30.7%, with 32,272 models changing hands.
Breaking down the AFV sales hybrids experienced the largest growth, up 34.2%, with pure electric rising 4.8% to 3,067 units.
The growth in AFV vehicles was from a low base. AFVs took just 1.6% of all transactions in Q1, with conventional petrol and diesel making up 98.3% of the market, the fuel types up 1.1% and down -3.6% respectively.
The AFV performance was the highlight in an otherwise flat market with total UK used car sales down just -0.6% to 2,020,144 transactions taking place.
Reflecting trends in the new car market, superminis remained by far the most popular used buy, with 676,395 of these smaller cars finding new owners – an uplift of some 6,000 units on Q1 2018.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Amid ongoing political and economic uncertainty, a stable used car market is good news for the automotive sector as it underpins crucial new car sales activity.
“Consumers are benefitting too, as more of the latest, safest and cleanest vehicles filter through to second owners. If we’re to accelerate this shift, and meet shared ambitions on air quality and climate change, a long-term government commitment to supporting take up of the latest technologies in the new car market will be essential.”