Revealed: Britain’s favourite specialist used cars

Chevrolet Camaro

If the mainstream motoring media is to be believed, everybody is buying crossovers and SUVs. But while many people might be falling for the ‘charms’ of these jacked-up hatchbacks, some of us dream of driving something a little different. Which is where the CarGurus Desirability Score comes in. By analysing the ratio of unique user searches to inventory listed on the CarGurus website, each car is given a score. Here, we reveal the most in-demand used vehicles, with the selection limited to cars listed on the site with fewer than 100 on sale since July 2018.

10. Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit

Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit

Commenting on the data, the editor of CarGurus, Chris Knapman, said: “Whilst the majority of our consumers are just searching for a great deal on their next car, the CarGurus Desirability Score also acts as the automotive equivalent of window shopping – it highlights the vehicles customers are most interested in or wish they owned, even if they aren’t always the most practical of choices.”

With a Desirability Score of 1,070, the Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit just creeps into the top 10. Launched in 1980, the Silver Spirit was a reworking of the outgoing Silver Shadow, and it offers tremendous value for money – if you can live with the ongoing maintenance bills. There are 12 for sale on CarGurus, with prices ranging from £8,995 to £23,960.

9. Ferrari 360 Modena

Ferrari 360 Modena

The classified listings on the CarGurus website include a note about whether the car is fairly priced. For example, a 2001 Ferrari 360 Modena at £99,995 is listed as ‘overpriced’, while another 2001 car priced at £77,500 is considered to be a ‘fair deal’. The 360 Modena gets a Desirability Score of 1,120.

We wonder what the CarGurus experts would have made of this 1999 Ferrari 360 Modena. It sold for €66,125 (£58,500) at a recent RM Sotheby’s auction in Essen, which strikes us as a ‘fair deal’ for a car with just 10,000km on the clock.

8. BMW 8 Series

BMW 8 Series

We suspect the arrival of the new BMW 8 Series has led to heightened interest in the original E31 model. The 8 Series finishes just ahead of the 360 Modena with a score of 1,125, and we found 34 for sale on CarGurus, including 20 new models.

The E31 8 Series was unveiled at the 1989 Frankfurt Motor Show, with initial interest so high, some people were prepared to spend twice the list price to avoid the six-month waiting list. BMW managed to shift just over 30,000 units before pulling the plug in 1999.

7. Ferrari 612 Scaglietti

Ferrari 612 Scaglietti

The second of two Ferraris to make the list, the 612 Scaglietti was named in honour of Sergio Scaglietti, the legendary stylist and coachbuilder responsible for some of Ferrari’s most iconic cars of the 50s and 60. It finishes seventh, with a Desirability Score of 1,295.

There are just three listed for sale on the CarGurus website, but you’ll have to dig deep to grab a slice of this avant-garde 2+2 grand tourer. The ‘cheapest’ is £74,995, while the most expensive will set you back £95,000.

6. Infiniti Q60

Infiniti Q60

Hands up if you’d forgotten about the Infiniti Q60. Hardly surprising, and it won’t be long before the brand disappears from Western Europe for good, leading to the sad closure of the Infiniti plant in Sunderland. If the Audi A5 is too obvious, the tech-laden Q60 could be worth a look.

Not that you’ll be spoilt for choice. The Infiniti Q60 wasn’t on sale long enough for there to be a huge range to choose from – and it was never a big seller – so you’re limited to a pair of 2.0-litre models and a single 3.0-litre version on CarGurus. At £21,000 to £26,000, they look like good value, but watch the depreciation.

5. Vauxhall VXR8

Vauxhall VXR8

Amazingly, there are more Vauxhall VXR8s for sale on CarGurus than there are Q60s, which says something about Infiniti’s inability to penetrate the UK market – and maybe a little about our love for crazy V8 monsters from Oz.

The VXR8 finishes fifth, with a Desirability Score of 1,875, and there are five to pick from on the CarGurus website. A 2009 model with 109,000 miles on the clock looks awfully tempting at £12,989, while even a relatively low mileage car with 45,720 miles on the clock comes in at less than £19,000. Strewth, mate.

4. Piaggio Porter

Piaggio Porter

If the Piaggio Porter looks familiar, it’s because it’s based on the seventh-generation Daihatsu Hijet. The microvan market isn’t particularly huge in the UK, but the Porter is popular enough to feature here.

The Piaggio Porter is available to buy new, with the UK importer offering fixed deck, tipper and panel van versions. You can even order an electric Porter. There are three Piaggio Porters for sale on CarGurus, with prices ranging from £2,000 to £4,000.

3. Nissan Elgrand

Nissan Elgrand

The cars occupying the top three berths couldn’t be more diverse. First up is the Nissan Elgrand, a popular Japanese import, which gets a Desirability Score of 1,993. It’s not hard to see why, because these MPVs are practical, flexible and well-equipped.

There are five for sale on the CarGurus website, each one powered by a 3.5-litre V6 engine, with prices ranging from £3,690 to £5,995. Think about the Elgrand when you’re about to sign a PCP contract for a compromised compact crossover.

2. Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

It would appear that people are visiting the CarGurus website hoping to fulfil their dreams of becoming a faded end-of-the-pier entertainer or establishing a wedding car business. The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow finishes second, with a Desirability Score of 2,131.

Why are these things so popular? Well, the Silver Shadow is a Roller for supermini money, and because they were sold in such huge numbers, there are plenty to choose from. There are eight for sale on the CarGurus website, with prices ranging from £10,995 to £75,960. Do a little homework and then live the dream.

1. Chevrolet Camaro

Chevrolet Camaro

Finally, storming the charts with a Desirability Score of 2,471, it’s the Chevrolet Camaro. Who’d have thought the Camaro would be more desirable than the Piaggio Porter?

There are four for sale on the CarGurus website, including a 1998 Camaro available for £3,989 and a 2014 car for £31,990. An opportunity to live the American dream in the UK or to fulfil your ‘Bumblebee’ fantasies. Whatever takes your fancy.

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