Four times as many used cars as new are sold in Britain each year: it’s the most active sector in Britain, particularly that for nearly new cars aged between one and three years.
But at the half way point in 2016, which are the used cars Brits are buying most of – and which are our favourite colours in such a tumultuous 2016? Read on to find out…
10: Peugeot 208 (16,561 sales)
The Peugeot 208 replaced the dreary 207 in 2012 and has been something of a hit. It’s selling well new, and these models are now filtering through to the secondhand market. Expect it to rise up the ranks as more cars come back from Peugeot’s increasingly popular ‘Just Add Fuel’ private rental initiative.
9: Nissan Juke (17,572 sales)
Time was that the only Nissan you’d find on a favourite best-sellers list was the Micra. How times change: today, the Juke is Nissan’s hot small car. The British-built crossover isn’t the most practical of machines but used car buyers don’t seem to care: proof that great styling sells.
8: Volkswagen Polo (18,663 sales)
In contrast to the Juke, Volkswagen’s Polo is the more sedate and stately small car choice; it seems over 1,000 used car buyers prefer this approach to the far-out Juke in 2016.
7: Fiat 500 (18,757 sales)
The Fiat 500 continues to be a best-seller for the Italian brand and all these new cars are now freely available in the secondhand market. Proof that used car buyers love retro looks and are not put off by the custom creations Fiat’s huge choice of 500 options allows…
6: Nissan Qashqai (23,286 sales)
The Qashqai is a classic modern Nissan, a genuine turnaround car that helped make the company cool again in Europe. On the secondhand market, it commands strong prices and is much in demand, success that’s only set to continue as more examples of the excellent current-shape second generation car hit the used market.
5: Volkswagen Golf (25,339 sales)
The ever-dependable Volkswagen Golf has been under the cosh slightly because of fallout from the dieselgate emissions scandal: this may have cost it a few secondhand sales from buyers unwilling to buy something that may need to go back to the dealer, but VW probably isn’t too worried: over 25,000 people still have secondhand faith.
4: Vauxhall Astra (27,162 sales)
The Astra was, years ago, a best-seller in the UK. Those days are long behind it but it’s still a popular new car which means there’s lots of choice on the secondhand car market.
3: Vauxhall Corsa (37,724 sales)
Saying that, more than 10,500 used car buyers would rather have a Vauxhall Corsa than an Astra. Such is Britain’s love of the supermini, something ably demonstrated by Ford, too…
2: Ford Focus (40,871 sales)
The Ford Focus has been around since 1998 and is a staple in the best-sellers chart. As such, nearly 41,000 examples changed hands during the first half of 2016. Good, but still well behind another car from the blue oval…
1: Ford Fiesta (58,967 sales)
The Ford Fiesta is Britain’s best-selling new car by an enormous margin: it follows that it is our favourite secondhand car too – by an even more enormous margin. Ford’s dominance of the new car market with the Fiesta means we’ve many more years of it leading the used market. Which, given how well it drives, is no bad thing…
Britain’s favourite used car colours
Car makers will sell vehicles in a broad range of colours that becomes ever more infinite the more you spend. The days of just offering a handful of colours are gone, with brands making dozens of colours available even on mainstream cars.
But despite such choice, we still have our favourites: here’s how the used car market, ahem, ‘shades’ up.
Fresh from triumphant Rio Olympics success, Britain is on a gold medal high. Is that what’s encouraged so many to choose a gold car in 2016?
Yellow is a wonderfully divisive colour: some love it, others hate it but no one can miss it. Custard-coloured cars make 9th in the UK’s favourite used car colour ranks.
Now this is a surprise: beige? The colour of your grandpa’s Morris Ital? Ah, but beige is actually back in fashion, made freshly chic by models such as the Fiat 500. The Morris Ital could yet become cool. Maybe.
If you’re a British motor racing fan, green will have a place in your heart – and, with the rise of storied sporting brands such as Bentley and Jaguar, it seems it now actually is a lucky colour for some.
White is in vogue for those who are green: if you’re the maker of something purportedly pure and earthly, you’ll paint it in white. Seems many in the showrooms are keen to bask in the green glow of white.
Red was big in the 80s but has tumbled down the used car charts since then. Today, it’s only the fifth most favoured colour of secondhand buyers. Car colours are all about fashion and fashions certainly change.
Grey doesn’t sound the most exciting of colours but when it’s given some fancy metallic flecks and applied to an Audi or a BMW, suddenly it becomes a bit of a must-have. The choice of sensible, besuited company corporate ladder-climbers everywhere.
Another one-time favourite of British buyers that’s falling down the ranks, blue cars are still a podium-placed favourite of secondhand car customers. The fact it covers such a huge spectrum, from baby blue to blazer blue, undoubtedly helps.
Black goes with everything: what’s true for clothes is also true for cars. People used to shy away from picking black because it was a pain to clean. Surely the rise in popularity of hand car washes hasn’t encouraged more to tick the option box?
No prizes for guessing which is Britain’s favourite used car colour. Silver looks decent on almost any car, so it’s a safe choice that brings about the best in most designs. Is it any wonder most forward-looking car concepts are finished in silver, the car designers’ choice hue?