Used cars sales increased by 4% year-on-year during the July-to-September period, the latest figures from information services company Experian show.
The period saw sales of 1.8 million second-hand cars, up 1.1% from the previous three months, the first time since 2006 that the numbers were higher in both quarterly and yearly comparisons.
Superminis, MPVs and 4x4s saw the biggest growth rates last summer, and south east England topped the sales chart with 383,000 units changing hands - up 8.4% year-on-year.
While Ford was found to be the most popular brand, making up 14% of the total sales, the Vauxhall Corsa was revealed to be the top-selling individual model.
Experian commercial director Joe Myers said: "July to September is historically a slow period for used car sales, which makes this improvement in sales volumes very positive news for the used car industry.
"By taking advantage of market intelligence around car sales, dealers can use the surge in transactions to uncover the latest buying trends and adapt their stock offering to meet market demand and maximise sales opportunities."
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