The second-hand car market is alive and well in the UK, so to speak. Although figures are not final yet, it seems almost certain that 2016 has been the best for the used car market ever. It is set to break the previous record, which was set in 2004. Forecasts show a total of 7.7 million used cars bought for 2016.


A number of reasons are responsible for the stronger interest in the second-hand car market. Firstly, more new cars than ever before were registered in 2016, which means the used car market will, obviously, grow too since the new car buyers need to sell their previous car. Also, attractive finance deals over the last number of years have made it easier to buy.

And, because of the growing number of all-new models constantly entering the market, which helps drive the new car market, another trend is emerging: Second-hand cars these days are much ‘younger’ than in previous years. And many of them come with a warranty still. In fact, some figures show that the average second-hand car in 2016 sold in the UK was roughly only 40 months old. It should therefore come as no surprise that the average used car was 5.4% more expensive in 2016 than it was in 2015 – resulting in buyers having had to fork out an additional £ 546 in 2016 on average.

For some people such as those who don’t drive all that much, or those who simply see no reason to fork out huge amounts for a new car, the used car is the perfect option – also, the new car depreciates much faster.

It is reported that it is becoming increasingly difficult to sell higher value cars privately and as a result, more individuals are turning to the online car buying companies to sell their vehicle. The majority of these services offer a free value my car tool to get you started.

The Popular Ones

Even though it did not record the highest number of used car sales, the BMW 3 Series took top spot for the highest number of hits on some traders’ websites for the year. That just shows what a good brand name can do.

Some of the most reliable, affordable used cars in 2016 are included in our list:

  • Best used city car – The Skoda Citigo from as little as £ 3, 000 and Kia Picanto Mk 2 offer good value and are good sellers.
  • Best used supermini – The Ford Fiesta always does well in this category (also in the new car segment, incidentally). You can pick them up from £ 4, 500.
  • Best used hatchback – The Seat Leon and Ford Focus Mk 3 are especially good, popular choices.

In other categories – the bigger cars and the SUV’s for instance – the Vauxhall Insignia and Mazda 6 Mk 3 stand out, as do the small SUV’s from Peugeot and Citroen. In the bigger SUV category the Volvo XC 90 is the stand-out car.

About The Author