The 2016 Renault Zoe electric hatchback was the fastest-selling used car in Britain during July – the first time an electric car has topped the charts.

According to used car marketplace Auto Trader, the little battery-powered Renault took an average of just 18 days to leave used car dealers’ forecourts – faster than anything else on the market.

Zoes aren't just popular with buyers

And the Zoe wasn’t the only alternatively fuelled vehicle (AFV) to hit the high notes. On a regional level, London’s most popular used car was the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid, which took just 12 days to find new owners in the shape of Congestion Charge-conscious Londoners.

Renault Zoe – £7,850

But despite the evident popularity of high-tech, low-emission vehicles, petrol and diesel power still appears to be king. The Zoe’s closest rival was the diesel-powered Peugeot 308 hatchback from 2013, which also spent just 18 days on dealers’ stock lists, while the 2015 Volvo XC60 came third on the list at 19 days.

Other entrants in the top 10 included the 2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class, 2015 Audi S3 and the diesel versions of the Mitsubishi Outlander.

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The story is much the same in the regions, too. In the north-west of England, 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class diesels were the quickest to leave forecourts, taking just 22 days. In the south-east of England, meanwhile, 2017 Ford Kugas moved fastest, taking 21 days to shift.

2017 Ford Kuga

Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s director of commercial products, said: “It’s extremely encouraging to see such a solid performance from AFVs in July, which is a great reflection of a wider softening of consumer resistance. There’s clearly some way to go before mass adoption, but with sales of ultra-low and zero-emission cars growing 25.3 percent during the second quarter of 2018, electric and hybrid cars are fast becoming a desirable addition to forecourts. For both the used and new markets, education will be key to driving adoption.

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“But the data shows us that despite its new car challenges, diesel maintains a dominant position within the second-hand market. And it’s no surprise, as their greater fuel efficiency makes them more appealing to budget-conscious consumers, especially when it comes to larger, family-sized cars.”