Top 10 UK used car models sold in 2020

Saleha Riaz
·3-min read
The Ford Fiesta was the most popular used car in 2020. Photo: Getty Images
The Ford Fiesta was the most popular used car in 2020. Photo: Getty Images

Cars made by Ford (F), Vauxhall and Volkswagen (VOW.DE) were among the most popular used car models sold in 2020, although the overall market declined last year.

Ford Fiesta topped the chart, with 289,847 transactions last year, latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed.

Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Astra rounded off the top five. Volkswagen made another appearance with the Polo at number eight while Audi A3 came in at number 10.

Overall, the UK’s used car market was down 14.9%. 6,752,959 used car transactions took place, 1,182,146 fewer than in 2019, “making 2020 the lowest performing year since 2012 as lockdown measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and turbulent consumer and business confidence dented sales,” SMMT said.

Chart: SMMT
Chart: SMMT

Despite used car transactions increasing 3.7% in October, a fourth consecutive month of growth, a combination of new lockdowns and tougher restrictions across the UK later in the year saw activity tail off.

READ MORE: Worst start to the year for UK car sales since 1970

Alternatively fuelled vehicles bucked the trend, with 144,225 of these models sold during the year, an increase of 5.2%, with their market share rising to 2.1%.

Battery electric vehicles saw their transactions increase by 29.7% to 19,184 units, but still only a fraction of all activity at 0.3%.

The market for hybrids rose by 4.7%, but demand for plug-in hybrids fell by 5%.

Last year all used car segments experienced declines, however superminis remained the most popular choice with 2.2 million units purchased, accounting for 32% of all transactions.

SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said “these figures are yet more evidence of the significant damage coronavirus has caused the automotive sector.”

“The priority now must be to allow car showrooms to re-open as soon as restrictions are eased. This will not only help the used market recover... but it will also enable the latest and cleanest vehicles to filter through to second owners and keep society moving,” he added.

Meanwhile, black was number one in the colour charts, with just over 1.4 million models in the shade changing hands with silver and blue completing the podium line-up.

Chart: SMMT
Chart: SMMT

Grey, which was the top selling new car colour in 2020, only managed fourth place. “Some buyers looked to add a brighter note to their used purchase,” SMMT noted, with 4,018 pink, 6,510 turquoise and 23,427 gold cars snapped up during the year.

Chart: SMMT
Chart: SMMT

When looked at region-wise, the South East had the most number of used car transactions (983,502) with the North West coming in at number two. London came in sixth place while Wales was at the bottom of the chart, with 342,856 transactions.

Last week it was reported that Britain had suffered its weakest January car sales in 51 years, as showroom closures brought the market to a near standstill.

SMMT said just 90,249 new vehicles were registered across the UK last month, down 40% on last year. SMMT said the new car registrations total was the lowest in January since 1970.

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