Car dealers lost 1.7 billion last year as used car sales crashed, according to British Car Auctions' used car market report.
Garages sold roughly 360,000 fewer used cars last year, bringing the total to 3.67million - the lowest figure for six years.
As a result, the turnover of used car dealers fell to 24 billion, the lowest since 2004. However, there was a rise in the average price of used cars from 6464 in 2007 to 6641 in 2008.
Private sales on the rise
Despite the massive slump in dealer sales, the cash from cars sold privately rose by 1 billion to a total or 7 billion, with a total of 2.69 million cars snapped up.
The report also investigates buyer attitudes to used cars, showing possible future trends. Of those surveyed, 42% stated that they do not intend to change their car during the recession, while 40% chose to buy a used car because they couldn't afford a new vehicle.
Although only 6% of used car buyers were concerned with the environment, 12% of those surveyed were worried by the rising cost of motoring and 38% plan to walk more and use their car less to keep costs down.