An expert has said that the credit crunch could boost the sales of quality used cars.
Professor Peter Cooke, author of the BCA Used Car Market Report, commented: "The economic downturn might encourage more traditional new car buyers to either trade down to a smaller new car or buy a quality used car instead of a new one.
"Those very same buyers may well seek to buy their used car through a franchised or non-franchised used car dealer rather than deal privately."
His report found that UK motorists spent £33.3 billion on used cars last year, down by £0.6 billion on 2006 but still the second highest figure ever recorded.
Both dealers and private-to-private used car sales fell last year, the former down by 2.7 per cent and the latter down by 6.1 per cent.
Six per cent of poll participants revealed that environmental considerations would be an influencing factor when they next buy, compared to four per cent last year.