Sales of used cars in the UK reached record levels in 2009 according to British Car Auctions, the £34 billion-worth of sales easily beating 2008's £28 billion figure.

This is despite a reduction in the number of used cars actually sold, the rise coming as a result of the higher average price paid per car, which climbed from £4868 in 2008 to £5422 in 2009.

Car dealers sold 3.53 million cars last year, and increased their turnover by £1.2 billion as a result.

The value of the used car market has been significantly bigger than the new market in both 2009 and 2008 – in 2009 the new car market was worth £28 billion.

BCA believes that the rise on car values, which hit a low in 2008, have helped drive the economy towards recovery, in tandem with the government's vehicle scrappage scheme.