More than 2.1m used cars were sold between July and September 2016, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The results showed an increase of 7.9% year-on-year, and marked an all-time record for Q3.

All available fuel types saw an increase in demand, with alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) sales rising by 34.2% to 21,543, from 16,059 in the same period in 2015.

The appearance of electric vehicles (EVs) in greater numbers in the used market drove this trend; with the number of EVs changing hands growing 94.1% in Q3 2016.

Diesel sales grew 10.8%, which the SMMT claimed was due to cars adhering to the Euro 6 emissions levels entering the used market.

The SMMT reported that petrol fuelled vehicles increased sales by 5.7%, and that superminis were the best-selling vehicle type, making up 33.8% of all sales in Q3 2016.

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By GlobalData

The Ford Fiesta was the most popular model of car within this period, selling 90,979 units. This was over 30,000 units clear of the second-place Ford Focus. Silver or aluminium was the most popular colour, with 484,668 transactions.

The SMMT also stated that cars aged 1-3 years were the most popular, and buyers in the South East bought the most used cars of any region, at 14.9%.

In the year to date, used sales increased by 7.9% to 6,329,092.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Sustained growth in the used car sector is great news for consumers, who have never enjoyed so much choice.

“It’s particularly promising to see the growing demand for electric vehicles filter into the used car market but to encourage greater take-up, a more widespread commitment to charging infrastructure is needed.”