The first quarter of 2021 has proved to be a turbulent time for used car sales, with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showing that sales fell by 8.9 per cent during the period. Trading has continued to be affected by coronavirus-related lockdowns which saw dealerships close their doors to the public and instead sell cars via online services.
The first quarter of 2021 has also showcased the most popular used cars being bought by consumers. Let’s take a look at them.
Ford Fiesta – 72,795
The Ford Fiesta has been a consistent hit in the used car segment, owing to its decent reliability and variety of models. More recently, the Fiesta has arrived with a series of punchy yet efficient turbocharged petrol engines, too.
As a household name, the Fiesta has become synonymous with motoring which is friendly on the finances.
Ford Focus – 60,883
Much like the smaller Fiesta, the Focus is yet another model from Ford that continues to remain popular in the used market. The first generation car broke the mould for family hatchbacks thanks to its excellent driving characteristics, while more recently it has gone on to bring added refinement and comfort.
Performance-orientated ST and RS models continue to be a hit with enthusiast drivers, too.
Vauxhall Corsa – 60,748
The Vauxhall Corsa often fights it out with the Fiesta for supremacy, so it’s little surprise to see it so close to the top here. Another budget-friendly option, the Corsa makes a case for itself through its low price and a wide array of variants.
Repair costs aren’t sky-high, either, while small engines ensure that insurance premiums aren’t too pricey.
Volkswagen Golf – 56,650
Volkswagen’s Golf entered its eighth generation recently, which goes to show just how popular it has been over the years. Each new variant has brought something different, while retaining the practicality and solid build quality that buyers love.
Ever-present GTI versions continue to be a hit, too, while more recent plug-in hybrid variants have given buyers a low-emission option, too.
Vauxhall Astra – 48,700
Vauxhall’s Astra has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, delivering more in the way of refinement than ever before. Though they’ve often struggled to hang onto their value, this has meant that the Astra has proved to be a great used buy for those after a bargain.
Estate versions have brought more space into the mix, though the standard hatch has often proved more than practical enough for most buyers.
BMW 3 Series – 41,115
The BMW 3 Series is one of the best-known premium cars in the business, having been the go-to for business drivers over the years. It’s also been a superb used buy thanks to its excellent attention to detail, involving driving experience and refined range of engines.
As the start of 2021 goes to show, this popularity seems to be showing no sign of slowing down.
Mini – 37,976
Mini’s hatch is a car that fits the bill for many drivers. Those after a car that stands out from the crowd will love the way it looks, while those after good build quality will appreciate the level of fit-and-finish you get from a Mini, regardless of the age.
The modern Mini recently celebrated its 20th birthday and, even now, it continues to be a trend-setter in the segment.
Volkswagen Polo – 31,477
Want a small car with big-car quality? The Volkswagen Polo is what you’ll want. For many years now it’s been a real hit with first-time drivers and families alike, as well as anyone who wanted a car that was cheap to run but good to look at.
A GTI version pepped things up, while efficient engines ensured that more mainstream buyers had a low-cost option too.
Audi A3 – 28,208
Audi’s A3 is a car that manages to package everything people love about the German brand into a compact layout. It’s good to look at, good to drive and it feels good inside, too, with a high level of attention paid to material quality throughout the years.
Even earlier models still feel solid, while new versions incorporate many of the features you’d expect to find on more expensive models.
BMW 1 Series – 28,144
Much like the A3, the 1 Series is a great example of how premium feel can be packaged into a small car. The 1 Series has, up until the most recent generation, been rear-wheel-drive, which has allowed it to deliver a slightly more exciting driving experience compared to its rivals.
Plus, a range of efficient engines has kept running costs low while plenty of standard equipment ensures used models feel well worth the money.