New research reveals the most popular second-hand cars in the UK

  • New research from car finance experts Zuto has revealed the most popular second-hand cars in the UK, with Vauxhall leading the way
  • Second-hand cars have risen in cost since the start of the pandemic due to a semiconductor chip shortage worldwide
  • The most popular car for men was revealed as the Vauxhall Astra, whereas for women it’s the Vauxhall Corsa that takes the number one spot

Used car prices rose by almost a third (30.5%) in December 2021 on a year-on-year and like-for-like basis.[1][1]

New research by Zuto has uncovered the nations favourite make and model of car to buy second-hand, from a Vauxhall Corsa to a Ford Fiesta.

The most popular choices for both men and women

Vauxhall and Ford take up the top 4 spots for both men and the women, making them the clear favourites for UK drivers as a whole. Audi and Volkswagen were also popular choices making an appearance in both of the top 10s.

Rank Women Rank Men
1 VAUXHALL CORSA 1 VAUXHALL ASTRA
2 FORD FIESTA 2 FORD FOCUS
3 VAUXHALL ASTRA 3 FORD FIESTA
4 FORD FOCUS 4 VAUXHALL INSIGNIA
5 NISSAN JUKE 5 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF
6 NISSAN QASHQAI 6 VAUXHALL CORSA
7 FIAT 500 7 AUDI A3
8 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 8 AUDI A4
9 AUDI A3 9 VAUXHALL ZAFIRA
10 VOLKSWAGEN POLO 10 BMW 320D

The main difference is Nissan, which is more popular with women than with men. The Nissan Juke and Qashqai took the 5th and 6th spot respectively for women yet did not appear in the top for men. The Fiat 500 also makes an appearance on the women’s top 10 and not in the men’s.

When it comes to the men, the only make that features on their top 10 and not the women’s is BMW, with the 320D coming in at 10th place.

Does Age impact on car choice?

The data from Zuto has also revealed the top 10 cars for different age groups:

Rank 17-24 25-34 45-54 55-64 65+
1 FORD FIESTA VAUXHALL ASTRA FORD FOCUS FORD FOCUS FORD FOCUS
2 VAUXHALL CORSA FORD FOCUS VAUXHALL ASTRA VAUXHALL ASTRA VAUXHALL ASTRA
3 VAUXHALL ASTRA FORD FIESTA FORD FIESTA FORD FIESTA FORD FIESTA
4 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF VAUXHALL CORSA VAUXHALL CORSA VAUXHALL CORSA VAUXHALL CORSA
5 VOLKSWAGEN POLO VOLKSWAGEN GOLF VAUXHALL INSIGNIA VAUXHALL INSIGNIA VAUXHALL INSIGNIA
6 AUDI A3 VAUXHALL INSIGNIA NISSAN QASHQAI NISSAN QASHQAI CITROEN C4
7 FORD FOCUS NISSAN QASHQAI VOLKSWAGEN GOLF FORD MONDEO VAUXHALL ZAFIRA
8 SEAT IBIZA AUDI A3 VAUXHALL ZAFIRA NISSAN JUKE FORD MONDEO
9 FIAT 500 VAUXHALL ZAFIRA NISSAN JUKE RANGE ROVER EVOKE NISSAN QASHQAI
10 AUDI A1 AUDI A4 FORD MONDEO VAUXHALL ZAFIRA JAGUAR XF

Ford and Vauxhall take the top 3 spots for every age category yet again, and if not for 17-24 year olds choosing Volkswagen Golfs as frequently as they did, they would have the top 4 in every group!

Location

Whilst the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra remain the most popular models in most locations in the UK, there are a few car models which rank higher in popularity in some areas than others.

In London the Audi A3 is ranked as the 3rd most popular second-hand car model, whereas it is ranked as the 7th most popular model in Norfolk.

Additionally, the Range Rover ranks as the 6th most popular model of car in Inverness-shire, whereas in Scotland’s County of Midlothian (home to its capital Edinburgh), the Range Rover does not make top 10 models.

Similarly, the Fiat 500 is 8th most popular second-hand model in West Yorkshire whereas it does not make the top 10 models in North Yorkshire. Highlighting that despite the short distance between locations, the most popular models of second-hand cars can differ between regions.

Which cars are trending in online search?

In recent years, the cost of used cars has increased rapidly due to a shortage of semiconductor chips. Leading to a decrease in the production of new cars which has caused the demand for second hand cars to soar. With the reduction of new car production, means that the supply of second-hand cars is limited which inflates the price of them.

When looking at online interest over the past 12 months2, these have been the top 10 most popular makes and models:

Rank Make and Model Volume of Searches
1 FORD FIESTA 301,000
2 AUDI A3 246,000
3 FORD FOCUS 207,000
4 NISSAN QASHQAI 201,000
5 VAUXHALL CORSA 165,000
6 FIAT 500 154,000
7 VAUXHALL ASTRA 121,000
8 NISSAN JUKE 110,000
9 AUDI A4 104,000
10 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 90,500

*average searches per month

James Wilkinson, CEO at Zuto commented on the data:

“With the ever-increasing demand for second-hand cars and their sky rocketing costs still dominating the media. Our data has highlighted the changing trends when it comes to second-hand car sales. Whilst Ford Fiesta’s and Corsa’s remain popular options for younger audiences, it’s interesting to see that Audi’s also make an appearance.”

If you’d like any more information on the research or to find out more about Zuto, please visit: https://www.zuto.com/blog/popular-car-demographics-in-the-uk/