Second-hand electric cars helping drivers ditch petrol and diesel

Bentley CEO reveals they're moving to electric cars

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According to the RAC, sales of second-hand electric cars reached record levels in 2021. Sales of used battery electric vehicles soared by 119.1 percent to 40,228 last year compared with 2020.

Demand for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) also jumped by 77.1 percent to 54,115 sales.

The data, from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), showed that sales of used hybrids also rose by 50.6 percent, despite many drivers cooling on the idea of a hybrid.

Growth was driven by an increasing number of ultra-low and zero-emission models filtering through to the second-hand car market. 

But, despite record sales in this area, these vehicles still only account for 3.1 percent of the total used car market.

Joanne Robinson, director of lenders at Zuto, said demand for second-hand EVs may be on the rise, but as an industry, it is nowhere near ready.

The large volume of brand new EVs being manufactured today (and large corporate fleets using EVs) will soon create a booming secondhand market.

Before this day comes, the expert said a number of issues need to be addressed, including educating consumers and establishing a robust EV charging network.

Other issues could include re-skilling engineers and investing in an EV-friendly workforce.

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Speaking to, she continued: “There has certainly been an increase in consumers’ interest in EVs. 

“According to one of our recent surveys, over half (53 percent) of our customers said they would consider buying an electric or hybrid car in the next two to three years, which clearly shows that there is a growing demand.

“It’s important to note, though, that this is coming from quite a low starting point, and second hand EVs make up a relatively small proportion of what we do at Zuto today. 

“Nonetheless, although gradual, this consumer interest is growing steadily month on month.”

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It is hoped that fleets will have a major impact on the used EV sector, with many companies offering employees the chance to drive electric.

Online marketplaces are also helping promote second-hand electric cars, with the likes of AutoTrader, the AA and Cazoo all having thousands of used cars for sale.

Ms Robinson warned that if the Government doesn’t invest in the infrastructure and workforce soon, some could become hesitant.

She added that it may cause “serious bumps in the road” to net zero.

Joanne Robinson explained why more used EVs were joining the market, saying: “There are a number of factors having an impact here, such as the cost of living crisis. 

“The Government ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars ahead of 2030 is motivating more drivers to consider EVs now. And some are seeking a more environmentally friendly option that won’t break the bank — and second-hand EVs seem like an obvious go-to.”

Players in the automotive sector are also being encouraged to get involved if they don’t start preparing now.

They are being warned that they could miss out on a soon-to-be lucrative second-hand market.

Second-hand EVs will also have a major impact on the uptake of electric cars, as more people will be in the financial position to afford an EV.

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