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Which type of car should I buy?

Which type of car should I buy

Choosing a car from scratch may leave you feeling baffled about where to begin. But you can quickly start to narrow down your choices by asking yourself a few basic questions, the first of which is what basic shape or type do you want or need? 

Even that decision will leave you with many more options now than it did in the past. The new car market has been sliced up into ever-increasing body shape segments and new style niches, to suit every possible motoring whim.

But getting that right is essential. It will not only dictate the level of practicality you’re after – a cavernous boot and cinema-style seating, or room for a passenger and little else – but also the overall driving experience.

Do you want something nippy, responsive or relaxing? Quiet and economical or thrilling and unapologetically thirsty? A high driving position, or something that seats you right at the heart of the action?

Our guide to the most popular car types or classes on the market should help make that decision easier.

City car

Seat Mii city car

These runarounds are the smallest cars on the road, and perfect for new drivers, couples, or thrifty, eco-minded motorists. So don’t be put off if you’re looking to downsize, as modern city cars are more capable on motorways than you’d think. The Skoda Citigo and its sister models, the Volkswagen Up and Seat Mii, for example, have levels of refinement and comfort that could shame cars two classes above.

City cars are designed to carry two people comfortably up-front; legroom can thus be limited in the back. Expect a small boot too, but parking will be a doddle, and the tiny dimensions (well under four metres long) means they can be powered by a small engine, and still feel incredibly nippy. Coupled with a lightweight frame, fuel bills will be low and you’ll enjoy some of the lowest CO2 emissions on the road. That’s good news for business users wanting to save on company car tax, too.

Five popular city cars:

Supermini

Suzuki Swift supermini

Don’t be fooled by the name. This car class includes big hitters such as the Ford Fiesta (Britain’s best-selling new car), Volkswagen Polo and Citroen C3 – and it gets bigger with each generational revamp. Other standard-setting superminis include the Seat Ibiza, Nissan Micra and Suzuki Swift.

The Mini itself now falls into this class, in fact, and is a good showcase for the modern supermini’s best attributes: fun to drive, stylish and economical to run. They’re slightly roomier than a city car, making them more practical, but you won’t necessarily look like a motorist on a modest budget. There’s even more scope to customise a supermini too, so expect a wide range of trim levels, engines and optional extras.

Five popular superminis:

Family hatchback

Skoda Octavia

Flexibility is key in this huge, catch-all class, which is characterised by its hatchback boot design. This gives owners to access to a generous and customisable luggage space, which can be expanded by folding one or all of the rear seats flat. Yet these machines are still small enough to be slotted into the tightest spaces and feel confidence-inspiringly compact on twisting back roads.

No wonder they’re so popular with families – and the cabin design will reflect that, with useful storage space and budget-friendly trim levels. Small, large and sporty versions are available with three or five doors, so buyers are also spoilt for choice; the Ford Focus has nearly 70 hatchback derivatives on offer. The impressive Skoda Octavia, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf also feature in this category.

Thrifty, eco-friendly engine choices run alongside more performance-focused alternatives. One thing to note is that retained values can sometimes only be average – but this does mean you should easily be able to pick up a nearly-new hatchback bargain.

Five popular family hatchbacks:

Saloon

Audi A4 saloon

This executive car class may conjure up images of ageing opulence, but you don’t have to be Arthur Daley to sport a saloon. A huge range of luxurious and sporty models are now available. BMW’s saloon car range includes the 3 Series, 5 Series and 7 Series; Audi has the A4, A6 and A8, while Mercedes-Benz has the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class. These come with excellent levels of refinement, business-friendly running costs, generous performance and oodles of kerbside appeal.

All models share the traditional and less practical ‘three-box’ body layout, however. That means the boot tends to be a prominent, but not necessarily practical, part of the design. The opening is smaller than a hatchback, while even with the rear seats folded (a feature that’s often optional on pricey German models) there’s less space to play with. Luckily, many offer estate versions of the same car. See below…

You can expect quality interiors, a decent sound system and state-of-the-art connectivity. High-mileage owners will find a decent mix of thrifty diesel engines alongside a choice of more powerful, performance-oriented powertrains.

Five popular saloons:

Estate

Skoda Superb estate

It’s all about the space in this load-lugging class, which is characterised by a cavernous boot. You don’t have to buy an estate to bag plenty of room in the back these days, but what’s brilliant about these cars is you get the same levels of refinement as the family hatchback or executive saloon on which they are based. So expect the handling and pace of car that’s much more compact.

Many drivers prefer the long, sleek profile of an estate, compared to its boxier hatchback equivalent, too – think class leaders such as the Skoda Superb Estate or Peugeot 508 SW. The options are endless, too. Estate versions pop up in the supermini, compact family hatchback and executive car classes. So choose any combination you like – even an estate with off-road capabilities, such as the Audi A4 Allroad.

What’s common to all, however, is a wealth of practical touches such as fold-flat seats, electric tailgates, boot dividers and retractable tow bars. Given the loads these cars are expected to shift, you’re also more likely to be offered a diesel engine. So they should still be reasonably economical.

Five popular estates:

SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle)

Nissan Qashqai SUV

Buyers can’t get enough of the cars in this class, which were designed to combine the practicality of an off-roader with the style and composure of a large family hatchback – hence the name. And this best of both worlds approach has produced everything from the crossover-style Nissan Juke to full-blown 4x4s like the Land Rover Discovery.

Much of the appeal is based around the SUV’s raised ride height, which gives you a clearer view of the road ahead and makes it easier to lift children into the back. Combine that with the option to seat up to seven in many models, and it’s easier to see why these cars are so popular with families.

These practicalities don’t have to come at the expense of power, either. There are plenty of sporty derivatives on offer, and advances in suspension and chassis design mean these models are far more nimble on the road than you’d think. Not all come with four-wheel drive, but as SUVs tend to spend most of their time on the tarmac, that’s not always a deal-breaker.

Five popular SUVs:

MPV

Seat Alhambra MPV

If you have a big family, or popular kids, a people carrier (or ‘Multi-Purpose Vehicle – MPV), designed with multiple occupants in mind, should be right up your street. There’s enough seating and legroom for up to seven, and flexible cabins typically include lots of clever storage space and sliding seats or benches that fold flat to adapt the space to suit your needs.

MPVs vary in size, but their long and relatively boxy frames mean you can’t expect hot-hatch handling on the school run. Popular models such as the Citroen C4 SpaceTourer, Ford S-Max and Seat Alhambra come with a range of economical engines, although a diesel is likely to be the best bet if you plan to spend most of your time with a full cabin. Diesels are generally more efficient, and their improved torque (pulling power) helps boost performance.

Five popular MPVs:

Coupe

Ford Mustang

If it’s thrills you’re seeking, look no further than the coupe. The name itself is derived from the French word to cut, and refers to the steep angle of the rear screen, which gives the coupe its rakish good looks. Think of the Audi TT, Porsche 911 and Jaguar F-Type.

That design means these cars are best enjoyed with just one passenger in mind. But as practicality isn’t likely to be crucial here, this should not put you off. It’s the drive that matters most. So a coupe should be fast, responsive, agile and tonnes of fun. That’s thanks to its muscular frame, low centre of gravity and, at the heart, a muscular engine to power it.

Five popular coupes:

Convertible

Rolls-Royce Dawn

These days you don’t have to rely on British summer to drop the top on your convertible. Windbreakers and sophisticated climate controls all provide enough shelter from the worst of the elements to use any rain-free day as an excuse to head out for a spin. Better still, some models even have ‘air scarves’ that blow hot air from the base of the headrest onto the necks of drivers and passengers.

There’s a convertible for every budget, too, ranging from the modest Smart Fortwo Cabrio to the enormous Rolls-Royce Dawn. Some offer a sardine tin-style peel-back canvas roof – such as the Fiat 500C – while others, such as the Mazda MX-5 RF, have a retractable hard-top. These are more durable for all-weather motoring, but will also add weight, which will eventually show up on your fuel bill.

Five great convertibles:

For more information on buying, running and selling a car, check out our ever-growing advice section.

Volkswagen Polo is the UK’s fastest selling used car

Volkswagen Polo is fastest selling used car

The Volkswagen Polo is the fastest selling used car in the UK, according to data released by the AA.

Used car buyers are quick to get their hands on the popular supermini, with the Polo advertised for the shortest length of time before being snapped up.

Superminis and SUVs dominate the top of the AA’s list, with the Volkswagen Polo finishing ahead of the Ford Fiesta, Peugeot 2008, Ford Focus and Ford Kuga. It’s the first time the 2008 has appeared on the AA’s list of the fastest selling used cars.

Volkswagen Polo used car

James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars, said: “The fastest-selling cars list is a great indication of how the used car market continues to provide a huge range of makes and models, some of which were only introduced in the past six or seven years. The Vauxhall Mokka, Peugeot 2008 and Peugeot 208 for instance, were only released relatively recently, meaning second-hand buyers are enjoying the benefits of much newer cars without the same price tag as a brand new vehicle.

“The availability of car finance has made it easier for drivers to pay for their cars, and has meant they have been able to upgrade to these nearly-new models.”

Fastest selling used cars

1.Volkswagen Polo
2. Ford Fiesta
3.Peugeot 2008
4. Ford Focus
5.Ford Kuga
6.Vauxhall Mokka
7.Volkswagen Tiguan
8.Renault Clio
9.Kia Sportage
10.Peugeot 208

But while the Volkswagen Polo is the fastest selling used car, the Ford Fiesta remains the UK’s most popular second-hand vehicle in terms of numbers.

Ford Fiesta used car

Based on the current rate, the Fiesta is likely to be the most popular used car of the year for the FIFTH consecutive time. The Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Focus have been the second and third most popular used cars every year since 2015.

James Fairclough added: “It comes as no surprise that there is a strong correlation between the fastest-selling and most popular vehicles. The enduring popularity of certain marques and models over the past four years shows British car buyers are very loyal, and they continue to be drawn to the same well-known brands they associate with reliability, safety and affordability.”

The most popular used cars

1.Ford Fiesta
2. Vauxhall Corsa
3.Ford Focus
4. Vauxhall Astra
5.Nissan Qashqai
6.Mercedes-Benz C-Class
7.Fiat 500
8.Vauxhall Corsa
9.Mercedes-Benz A-Class
10.Volkswagen Polo

 

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.

The Renault Kadjar is the UK’s fastest selling used car

Renault Kadjar used car

Advertise a Renault Kadjar for sale today and it’ll be sold within 17 days, according to figures released by Auto Trader.

The study found that the 2018 Renault Kadjar was the most sought-after used car in February, flying off the forecourts in a little over a fortnight. In Scotland, it took just a week for the Kadjar to find a new home.

And people are prepared to splash out to secure a used Kadjar, spending an average of £17,865 on the French SUV.

It’s the third consecutive month that an SUV has topped the Auto Trader chart, highlighting the continued demand for crossovers and high-riding vehicles. It’s a trend that continues throughout the regions.

London Calling

2015 Nissan Qashqai

In London, the 2015 Nissan Qashqai was the fastest selling used car, with examples snapped up in just 14 days. The Hyundai Tucson took the honours in the South (15 days), the Ford Focus in the West Midlands (15 days), and Mercedes-Benz GLC in the South East (19 days).

At the opposite end of the scale, it took an average of 34 days to shift a 2013 Ford Fiesta in the South West, and 29 days to sell a used 2018 Nissan Qashqai in Wales.

Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s director of commercial products, said: “Aside from the clear signs of a huge investment in electric, this month’s Geneva Motor Show was dominated by an exciting array of new generation 4x4s and crossovers.

“And with SUVs taking the crown for overall fastest selling used car for three consecutive months, their position as a forecourt favourite shows no sign of abating.

The UK’s top 10 fastest selling used cars in February 2019

RankMake and modelDays to sellAverage price
12018 Renault Kadjar Hatchback Petrol Manual17£17,865
22014 Ford Focus Hatchback Petrol Automatic21£7,734
32011 Seat Ibiza Hatchback Diesel Manual21£3,584
42016 Mazda CX-5 SUV Diesel Manual22£15,084
52016 Fiat 500 Hatchback Petrol Automatic22£9,123
62018 Mercedes GLC-Class SUV Diesel Automatic23£32,376
72016 Mercedes GLC-Class SUV Diesel Automatic23£27,164
82017 Audi S3 Hatchback Petrol Automatic23£27,648
92017 Vauxhall Meriva MPV Petrol Manual23£8,330
102016 Vauxhall Mokka Hatchback Diesel Auto 24£10,858
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Demand for low-emission used cars up 30 percent – but most Brits still prefer petrol or diesel

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVMore than two million used cars changed hands in Q3 2018, new data from the Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders (SMMT) has revealed.

This was, it adds, a slight 2.1 percent dip on 2017 – but demand for ultra-low and zero-emission cars has rocketed, rising 28.6 percent over the busy summer months.

Almost 30,000 ultra-clean used cars were sold, mainly hybrids and plug-in hybrids. The UK’s burgeoning electric car market is also starting to develop in the second-hand sector, with used EV sales rising 8.3 percent.

It is, however, still a drop in the ocean of used car sales, acknowledges the SMMT. Petrol and diesel cars still make up more than 98 percent of second-hand car transactions. What’s more, unlike the new car market, used diesel sales don’t seem to be suffering compared to petrol – both dipped by a similar 2.5 percent.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “It is encouraging that the UK used car market has remained solid in the third quarter of the year, and good news that there is growing enthusiasm for alternatively powered vehicles.”

And the best way to filter these through to the used market is, added Hawes, to introduce the right policies and incentives for new cars. Rather than, for example, cancelling the Plug-in Car Grant for plug-in hybrids…

Other used car trends during summer 2018 included a 6.2 percent rise in SUV sales and a surprising 2.4 percent increase in executive car volumes. Superminis were still Britain’s top used car sector, but they declined 3.1 percent – although the total of second-hand supermini sales so far this year has still now topped the two million mark.

Our favourite used car colour this summer? Black, followed by silver, and blue. We’re quickly going off green cars though, as sales dropped 17.1 percent. 22 years ago, it was actually the most popular new car colour in Britain…

Despite the summer used car sales dip, Auto Trader director Ian Plummer expects the rest of 2018 to be more promising. “The narrow pipeline of WLTP compliant vehicles provides a great chance to capitalise on impatient car buyers open to nearly new alternatives,” he said.

“Indeed, we’ve seen an increase in nearly new ad views over the last two months.” 

Best-selling used cars – Q3 2018

2011 used Ford Fiesta

  1. Ford Fiesta (93,260 cars)
  2. Ford Focus (84,014)
  3. Vauxhall Corsa (80,789)
  4. Volkswagen Golf (68,614)
  5. Vauxhall Astra (66,942)
  6. BMW 3 Series (49,025)
  7. Mini (42,309)
  8. Volkswagen Polo (41,726)
  9. Renault Clio (35,141)
  10. Audi A3 (31,766)
The fastest-selling used cars in 2017

The fastest-selling used cars in 2017

The fastest-selling used cars in 2017In this age of PCP and lease deals, people care less and less about how easy it is to sell their car. But for those of us who continue to buy cars outright, we don’t want to be lumbered with something that’s near-impossible to sell on. Fortunately, Auto Trader has revealed the cars that sold the fastest on its website last year. Click on to discover the top 10.

10: 2014 Hyundai ix35 petrol

The fastest-selling used cars in 2017

Yes, Auto Trader is very specific about the models that sell the quickest. If you happened to have a 2014 Hyundai ix35 petrol to shift in 2017, it would have flown off the driveway. At the time of writing, there are just 150 petrol ix35s on Auto Trader compared to 1,102 diesels. No wonder petrol examples are in demand, considering the current anti-diesel sentiment.

9: 2015 Kia Rio petrol

The fastest-selling used cars in 2017

With a transferable seven-year warranty, a nearly-new Kia Rio makes for a very sensible car purchase. On average, a 2015 Kia Rio petrol took 29 days to sell in 2017, with prices averaging £7,896.

8: 2015 Ford Ka petrol

The fastest-selling used cars in 2017

The fastest-selling second-hand cars in 2017 can be broadly split into two categories: affordable small cars and SUVs. The Ka is one of the former, with an average retail price of £5,865 (the cheapest to appear in the top 10). Like the Hyundai ix35 and Kia Rio, it took an average of 29 days to sell a 2015 petrol Ford Ka, says Auto Trader.

7: 2014 Toyota Prius

The fastest-selling used cars in 2017

With motorists worried about buying diesel cars, it’s no surprise to see the UK’s favourite hybrid appear here. With 2014 models reaching the end of three-year lease deals in 2017, we’re surprised the market wasn’t flooded with Priuses of this age. How many of them were bought by Uber drivers, we wonder…

6: 2012 Toyota Yaris petrol auto

The fastest-selling used cars in 2017

Having said that, we’re surprised to see it’s not a Yaris hybrid taking sixth position, but a conventional petrol automatic. We suspect that might be down to demand exceeding supply. At the time of writing, there are just 23 2012 Toyota Yaris automatics for sale on Auto Trader.

5: 2014 Kia Rio petrol

The fastest-selling used cars in 2017

You might be interested to discover that a 2014 Kia Rio petrol took, on average, one day less to sell than a 2015 Kia Rio petrol in 2017. Then again, you might not be.

4: 2014 Kia Sportage petrol

The fastest-selling used cars in 2017

The Kia Sportage is one of the best-value second-hand SUVs on the market and, of course, with a transferable seven-year warranty it’s no surprise to see so many Korean cars appearing here. Again, it’s worth noting that it’s the petrol model that’s in demand. There are just 112 from 2014 currently on Auto Trader.

3: 2014 Hyundai i10 petrol auto

The fastest-selling used cars in 2017

There’s an obvious correlation between a model’s scarcity and how quickly it sells. The third fastest selling second-hand car last year was a 2014 Hyundai i10 petrol automatic, taking 25 days on average to sell. There are just 45 currently on Auto Trader, compared with 308 manuals.

2: 2016 Ford Kuga petrol

The fastest-selling used cars in 2017

With an average retail price of £18,333, the Kuga is the priciest car to appear here, yet it takes second position in the top 10 list of fastest-selling cars of 2017. Buyers are keen on unleaded models (surprise, surprise), with 2016 petrol Kugas taking 25 days on average to shift.

1: 2015 Kia Sportage petrol

The fastest-selling used cars in 2017

And in number one spot is another Kia Sportage. As we’ve already said, that transferrable seven-year warranty must help, as does its very reasonable price. On average, 2015 petrol Sportages retail for £13,690 on Auto Trader.

December 2017’s fastest-selling cars

The fastest-selling used cars in 2017

So now you know the fast-selling used cars in 2017, but what were the big hitters in December? You might be surprised…

3: 2017 Skoda Yeti Outdoor diesel

The fastest-selling used cars in 2017

The loveable Skoda Yeti has now been replaced by the much more conventional Karoq. We’re not surprised that buyers are keen to get their hands on the outgoing model, with (presumably ex-demo) examples selling within 26 days on average. It’s interesting, too, that buyers are keen on diesels – going against the trend for 2017 as a whole.

2: 2013 Nissan Qashqai petrol auto

The fastest-selling used cars in 2017Ah, the ever-popular Nissan Qashqai. Buyers in 2017 were keen on petrol automatic versions, it seems, selling in 26 days on average for an average retail price of £11,426.

1: 2016 Audi A3 Saloon diesel

The fastest-selling used cars in 2017

And the fastest-selling car on Auto Trader in December was a 2016 Audi A3 diesel. So much for our theory that car buyers were concerned about buying diesels in 2017. Buyers were happy to snap up nearly-new A3 diesels, even as a saloon. They took 24 days to sell on average.

Read more:

Everyday old cars worth more than you think

23 old cars worth more than you think

Everyday old cars worth more than you think

We all know that performance cars and hot hatches of the 80s and 90s are in demand, but what about the other cars that are seemingly appreciating in value? We spent some time on Auto Trader, identifying the everyday old cars that are worth more than you might think. Of course, the asking prices aren’t necessarily reflective of the market value.

Porsche 924: £29,990

Porsche 924: £29,990

While we’d struggle to class a Porsche as an ‘everyday’ old car, the 924 is very much the entry-level to the brand. Besides, it was destined to wear a Volkswagen badge and was launched with a four-cylinder Audi engine. We like the 924, but £30k is a jaw-dropping price. You could buy a five-year-old Cayman for that money…

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Nissan Figaro: £22,995

Nissan Figaro: £22,995

The Figaro was Nissan’s way of saying happy 50th birthday to itself: a retro-inspired cutesy based on the humble Micra. Figs4u, the self-proclaimed ‘home of the Nissan Figaro’, claims that “good examples appreciate by about £1,000 per annum”, which might explain why this Royston dealer is asking for £22,995 for this example. Wow.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Vauxhall Nova SR: £16,000

Vauxhall Nova SR: £16,000

“Macho for not mucho,” proclaimed the 1985 press ad for the Vauxhall Nova SR. Back then, the 1.3-litre upstart would set you back a mere £5,766, which is about £17,043 in today’s money. This admittedly delightful low-mileage example is available for a smidgen less. Macho for a little too mucho? You decide.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Ford Anglia: £13,250

Ford Anglia: £13,250

Today, the Anglia 105E is most famous for its Harry Potter connection, but this was a ground-breaking car for Ford. More than a million were built, with production commencing in 1959 and continuing until 1967. This late example was imported from South Africa, one of three countries to produce the forerunner to the Escort.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Ford Escort 1.4L: £11,500

Ford Escort 1.4L: £11,500

Speaking of the Escort, how’s this for an eye-watering price? We’ve grown accustomed to the rising prices of RS and XR models, but £11,500 for a common or garden 1.4L seems optimistic. The last MOT listed some advisories for rust, but we suspect these may have been sorted.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Honda CR-X: £11,000

Honda CR-X: £11,000

The second generation CR-X arrived in 1988: an altogether more grown-up successor to the mad-as-a-box-of-frogs original. It occupied its own niche, falling somewhere between a hot hatch and a genuine sports car. The 1.6-litre 16v engine was an obvious highlight, along with terrific handling. Good enough to warrant an £11k price tag?

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Ford Granada 2.8i Ghia: £10,995

Ford Granada 2.8i Ghia: £10,995

“Where would you find another like this?” asks the dealer selling this 1986 Ford Granada 2.8i Ghia. It’s a fair point, because we can’t remember the last time we saw a Mk3 ‘Granny’, let alone one as delightful as this. More tempting than a Ford Mondeo Vignale? We think so, even without the concierge service.

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Triumph 2000: £8,000

Triumph 2000: £8,000

The Michelotti-styled Triumph 2000 was unveiled in 1963, with the Mk2 arriving in 1969. “Totally original the best,” says the dealer selling this 1971 example, which is said to be “rust free” with an interior that “still smells new”. It was effectively replaced by the Rover SD1, meaning the big Triumph had no direct successor.

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Nissan Bluebird 1.8 ZX Turbo: £7,500

Nissan Bluebird 1.8 ZX Turbo: £7,500

“The ZX Turbo is not what you might call an exciting car to drive, but it does everything a driver asks of it with extreme competence,” said Autocar in 1986, before admitting that “it’s probably the best saloon car the company [Nissan] has offered to British drivers.” We want this 1988 example more than is probably healthy,

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Austin Maxi: £5,000

Austin Maxi: £5,000

Often unfairly named as yet another British Leyland disaster, the Austin Maxi was a thoroughly decent car. Launched in 1969, it was highly versatile, offering hatchback practicality at time when four-door saloons were the norm. This 1978 example was formerly owned by the club secretary of the Austin Maxi Owners Club.

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Ford Orion 1.6 Ghia: £4,995

Ford Orion 1.6 Ghia: £4,995

If we’re honest, we’d prefer an Orion 1.6i Ghia, which was very much the thinking man’s Escort XR3i of the time. This Orion 1.6 Ghia automatic offers a more sedate hint of motoring in the mid 80s, but the slush ‘box should ensure that it escapes the attention of retro-modifiers. That and the price tag…

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Vauxhall Nova Merit: £3,950

Vauxhall Nova Merit: £3,950

This 1986 Vauxhall Nova 1.2 Merit ‘Shatchback’ was supplied new by Shaw & Kilburn of Luton and Berkhamsted and delivered to a Vauxhall Motors employee. In truth, this one ought to be part of Vauxhall’s amazing heritage collection.

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Triumph Dolomite: £3,495

Triumph Dolomite: £3,495

To be fair, we’re not sure this meets the ‘worth more than you think’ criteria, but we like the look of it so much, we’re giving it pride of place in our list. This Triumph Dolomite looks resplendent in Inca Yellow and, if the description is anything to go by, it’s ready for the summer season of classic car shows. Just add ‘Jerusalem’ to this photo for the quintessential English scene.

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Vauxhall Cavalier GSi: £3,489

Vauxhall Cavalier GSi: £3,489

This Vauxhall Cavalier GSi has covered around 170,000 miles and appears to be on sale at a dealer offering more illustrious motors. In truth, the 2.0-litre 16v engine is a peach and there’s something rather appealing about this go-faster rep special. The towbar is a worry, mind.

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Volkswagen Jetta: £3,250

Volkswagen Jetta: £3,250

The ‘Dub’ scene will always inflate the prices of retro Volkswagens, which means that the £3,250 being asked for this Jetta is not entirely unrealistic. “You will struggle to find a car in better condition,” claims the seller.

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Nissan Micra GS: £3,000

Nissan Micra GS: £3,000

“This car is a vintage type. Since 1999, it had been sitting in a locked garage which is part of the house until 2016 when [it] had been pulled out for sale,” says the ad. The K10 Micra was a driving school favourite of the 80s and early 90s, but we’re not sure the nostalgia factor will be enough for this 1991 automatic to realise £3,000.

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Citroen BX TGE: £2,995

Citroen BX TGE: £2,995

Once a familiar sight on Britain’s roads, the Citroen BX is fast becoming an endangered species. A future classic if ever there was one, grab a BX while they’re still relatively cheap.

This car sold already? Find another Citroen BX on Auto Trader

Peugeot 205 GRD: £2,989

Peugeot 205 GRD: £2,989

The GRD and GTi might sit at opposite ends of the Peugeot 205 range, but the diesel is not without appeal. Contemporary reviews praised the 1.8-litre diesel for its smoothness and “truck-like pulling power”, not to mention its dislike of filling stations. With 205 GTi prices fast approaching re-mortgage territory, gems such as this 1990 example become all the more appealing.

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Rover Metro GTa: £2,795

Rover Metro GTa: £2,795

While you were sleeping, Austin and Rover Metros have become desirable, which is reflected in the asking prices. “NO RUST ANYWHERE WHATSOEVER,” screams the description, which is reassuring.

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Volkswagen Polo: £1,991

Volkswagen Polo: £1,991

A Mk2 facelift Volkswagen Polo owned by one family since new and with 10 main dealer service stamps is sure to excite diehard Dub fans. It looks incredibly clean, while the original dealer number plates is a good sign of originality.

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Rover 213: £1,950

Rover 213: £1,950

This ‘hearing aid beige’ Rover 213 is being offered by a Kia main dealer and has probably been ‘chopped in’ for a Picanto or Rio. The MOT history makes for encouraging reading, with the annual trips to the test station seemingly the only journeys made by this ‘classic’.

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Peugeot 305: £1,795

Peugeot 305: £1,795

Fancy a practical retro workhorse for less than £2,000? This Peugeot 305 diesel is the answer. Far cooler than a modern crossover or SUV, we say.

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Toyota Corolla: £1,789

Toyota Corolla: £1,789

While you probably don’t lie awake at night dreaming of a white Toyota Corolla automatic, this 1984 example will earn you more kudos points than a Yaris Hybrid or Aygo. No, really, it will.

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'Celebs' go crazy for £550 Skoda Fabia on Auto Trader

'Celebs' go crazy for £550 Skoda Fabia on Auto Trader

'Celebs' go crazy for £550 Skoda Fabia on Auto Trader

The seller of a cheap Skoda Fabia advertised for just £550 on Auto Trader has been left bewildered after being inundated with questions from fake celebrities.

Twenty-five-year-old Johnny Delaney has received emails claiming to be from celebs including Matt Le Blanc, Lewis Hamilton and even Peter Pan after advertising his car on the car-selling website


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“Hey buddy, I’m thinking of moving to Skoda racing team from Mercedes next year,” quipped the bogus Lewis Hamilton. “I want a cheap run-around to test out the down-force and handling before [I] decide on the move.

“P.s. – I need Scherzi to fit in the back for sexy time,” he added.

Other highlights include Donald Trump, Olly Murs and Derek Trotter.

Delaney told The London Economic that he’s owned the 15-year-old Skoda for three years, and is now trading up to a brand new Seat.

“I do find the messages amusing but it is going on a bit long now and I keep thinking ‘I need to sell this car’,” he said.

“It seems people are just having a laugh about the car rather than trying to buy it.”

Pretending to be Queen guitarist Brian May, the emailer said: “Hey man, I need a car to get me to the Queen concerts without the fans knowing it’s me.

“Your Skoda is perfect but I have twisted my ankle so if I pay you could drive me for the next few months.

“That way ‘everything I do is driven by you’”.

The 2002 Skoda Fabia is a Silverline special edition that’s covered 90,380 miles. It’s advertised for just £550, but Johnny says he’s had just one genuine enquiry since it was advertised last week.

'Celebs' go crazy for £550 Skoda Fabia on Auto Trader

‘Celebs’ go crazy for £550 Skoda Fabia on Auto Trader

'Celebs' go crazy for £550 Skoda Fabia on Auto Trader

The seller of a cheap Skoda Fabia advertised for just £550 on Auto Trader has been left bewildered after being inundated with questions from fake celebrities.

Twenty-five-year-old Johnny Delaney has received emails claiming to be from celebs including Matt Le Blanc, Lewis Hamilton and even Peter Pan after advertising his car on the car-selling website


More used cars on Motoring Research:


“Hey buddy, I’m thinking of moving to Skoda racing team from Mercedes next year,” quipped the bogus Lewis Hamilton. “I want a cheap run-around to test out the down-force and handling before [I] decide on the move.

“P.s. – I need Scherzi to fit in the back for sexy time,” he added.

Other highlights include Donald Trump, Olly Murs and Derek Trotter.

Delaney told The London Economic that he’s owned the 15-year-old Skoda for three years, and is now trading up to a brand new Seat.

“I do find the messages amusing but it is going on a bit long now and I keep thinking ‘I need to sell this car’,” he said.

“It seems people are just having a laugh about the car rather than trying to buy it.”

Pretending to be Queen guitarist Brian May, the emailer said: “Hey man, I need a car to get me to the Queen concerts without the fans knowing it’s me.

“Your Skoda is perfect but I have twisted my ankle so if I pay you could drive me for the next few months.

“That way ‘everything I do is driven by you’”.

The 2002 Skoda Fabia is a Silverline special edition that’s covered 90,380 miles. It’s advertised for just £550, but Johnny says he’s had just one genuine enquiry since it was advertised last week.

20 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

20 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto TraderIn an attempt to make it easier to identify the best value used cars, Auto Trader has introduced a new tagging system to accompany the prices of the cars for sale on the site. With this in mind, we thought we’d take a look at 20 4x4s marked ‘Great Price’. As ever, inclusion doesn’t represent an endorsement.

Suzuki Jimny: £8,50020 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

Following the demise of the Land Rover Defender, the Suzuki Jimny is one of the last bastions of the old-school 4×4. New, a top spec Jimny SZ4 will set you back at least £14,784, which makes this 2011 example a bit of a bargain. Don’t expect to go anywhere in a hurry, but do expect a characterful and capable 4×4.

Land Rover Discovery: £5,95020 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

Nobody is going to pretend that an old Land Rover Discovery will be cheap to run, but at least this 2003 example looks more appealing than the new model. A seven-seat ES automatic is a fantastic and sought-after spec, while the seller claims there are 14 stamps in the service book. Check the history before purchase and this could be a great buy.

Dacia Duster: £7,85020 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

The Dacia Duster might have been updated, but you’ll pay upwards of £16,495 for a diesel 4×4 in Laureate trim. Which means this 2013 example is essentially half price – not bad for a four-year-old car with 40k miles on the clock. Plaster it in mud and nobody will know that it’s a pre-facelift model.

Skoda Yeti: £5,99920 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

Skoda’s decision to kill the Yeti and replace it with something utterly anonymous hasn’t been well received. But no matter, because there are plenty for sale on the used car market and there are real bargains to be found. This 2011 Yeti S might not offer a lavish spec, but it’s on sale for less than £6k.

Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin: £1,99520 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

The Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin was essentially a ‘fun size’ version of the full-fat Shogun and was built for people who lived in the hills but needed the convenience of a smaller car. By today’s standards it will feel rather crude, but with 61,000 miles on the clock and an MOT until April 2018, we think this is a potential bargain.

Toyota Land Cruiser: £41,22120 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

Auto Trader’s ‘Great Price’ tag was made for cars like this Toyota Land Cruiser. New, you’d spend upwards of £56,630 on an Invincible model, which means you can save £15,000 by purchasing this 2016 example. The spec list is as long as the Land Cruiser is big, and it’ll handle just about everything you throw at it.

SsangYong Rexton: £3,26920 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

Let’s get the negatives out the way first: the SsangYong Rexton won’t be especially nice to drive and the interior is bordering on horrendous. But as cheap and practical workhorses they are hard to ignore, which makes this 2006 example look like good value for money. If towing and off-roading is your thing, this could be a good use of £3k.

Jeep Wrangler: £19,99920 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

The Wrangler is a car to file under ‘is that still on sale?’ New, you’ll pay upwards of £34,740 for a four-door model, but this five-year old Sahara is up for £19,999. The 2.8-litre CRD diesel engine is a terrific unit and the Wrangler is, unsurprisingly, great off road. The last MOT mentioned that the rear diff is leaking, so that’s something to get checked out.

Daihatsu Terios: £4,79420 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

In common with many of the cars featured here, the Daihatsu Terios is more suited to off-road driving than it is urban commuting, which highlights just how far the SUV has come. Today, we take it for granted that an SUV will be a master of all trades. According to Auto Trader, £4,794 for this 42k-miler is a ‘great price’.

Suzuki Grand Vitara: £2,00020 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

This 2004 Suzuki Grand Vitara has a near-perfect MOT history, which suggests that it has enjoyed a cherished existence. The Vitara was one of the first SUVs to be designed as much for the King’s Road as it was for off-road, and owners swear by them. Two grand is a great price.

Nissan X-Trail: £18,97020 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

From something old-school to something new, the current Nissan X-Trail is a fully paid-up member of the new breed of SUVs. This one-owner car has covered a mere 14,159 miles and offers all the toys associated with the N-Tec specification. You’ll also enjoy the remainder of the manufacturer’s warranty.

Land Rover Freelander: £6,77520 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

There are certain things to look out for when buying a used Land Rover Freelander, but thanks to the badge they remain incredibly popular. This dealer-plus-one-owner car looks to be in perfect condition, but do your homework on the 2.2-litre diesel engine and rear diff before taking the plunge.

SsangYong Korando: £9,99520 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

SsangYong’s limited mileage five-year warranty is one of the best in the business, which removes some of the guesswork associated with buying a used example. This 2014 Korando looks very tidy and there are only 52,000 miles on the clock. The diesel engine isn’t the last word in refinement and the interior is a bit low-rent, but aside from that the Korando is a solid buy.

Land Rover Defender 90: £7,49520 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

Defender values are so high, it’s genuinely hard to find a ‘Great Price’ listing on Auto Trader. We like the look of this 2002 Defender 90, not least because the MOT history makes for encouraging reading. If the photos are anything to go by, it looks to be in great condition.

Honda CR-V: £1,59520 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

The Honda CR-V is a popular used car buy, which means £1,595 for a 2008 example looks stupidly cheap. So what’s the catch? Well, there are 178,000 miles on the clock, but if it has been well maintained, there’s no reason why it won’t see 200k miles with ease. Full Honda service history for the first 150,000 miles is encouraging.

Fiat Panda Cross: £3,00020 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

The Fiat Panda 4×4 is proof that you don’t need a lumbering great SUV to make tracks. Thanks its narrow footprint and formidable off-road talents, the Panda 4×4 is a hit with folk living high up in the Alps. This one-owner Panda Cross is available for £3,000.

Suzuki Swift 4×4: £5,99120 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

The Suzuki Swift 4×4 might lack the character and charm of the Fiat Panda 4×4, but a 25mm increase in ride height and an on-demand all-wheel drive system means that a little green-laning is no problem for this hatchback. Be warned, it doesn’t offer whippet-like pace.

Toyota Land Cruiser Amazon: £11,99020 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

A candidate for ‘all the 4×4 you could ever need’, the Toyota Land Cruiser Amazon is big, brash and formidable off-road. The 4.2-litre diesel engine, as offered here, makes more sense than the V8 petrol, and it’s much, much cooler than a seven-seat MPV.

Mitsubishi Shogun: £25,77420 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

A year ago, this Mitsubishi Shogun SG3 would have set you back upwards of £35,000. Today, with just 11,560 miles on the clock, it’s available for just £25,774. At that price, the thoroughly old-school SUV makes a great deal of sense.

Range Rover: £2,99020 4x4s rated ‘Great Price’ on Auto Trader

Is the Range Rover P38A on course to becoming a modern classic? It’s a little too early, perhaps, but the second generation Range Rover is ageing rather well. Sure, it’s not the last word in reliability, but it’s rare to find a one-owner example such as this. Yours for a little under £3,000.