A massive 8,113,020 used cars changed hands in 2017, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) .
Every month a list of best-selling new cars in the UK is published, but have you ever wondered which used models are the most popular?
All has now been revealed. Thanks to AA Cars (the AA’s used cars website), we now know which second- hand cars are the biggest sellers so far in 2018, based on stock added and removed from the site.
“The rise of car finance products ensures that customers are more regularly upgrading to new cars, meaning the flow of nearly new vehicles into second-hand dealerships has boosted the value and quality of stock on sale,” said James Fairclough of AA Cars.
“This comprehensive temperature test of the second-hand car market shows that old favourites from Ford, Vauxhall and Nissan continue to dominate market share.”
Britain's best-selling used cars 2018
Britain’s second biggest-selling new car in 2017, the Golf is now in its seventh-generation and it’s better than ever. Great to drive with superb build quality, it’s a classy family hatchback with serious badge appeal. Even though the Golf got a facelift in 2017, it was subtle, so older Mk 7s (pictured) still look good.
The latest version of Kia’s popular Sportage SUV is a cracking car. Spacious, stylish, great value and good to drive, it’s blessed with a seven-year warranty too meaning that there could be plenty of peace of mind left if you buy a more recent example. The previous generation Sportage (pre 2016) is good too. It was crowned Diesel Car magazine’s Used Car of the Year 2017.
First launched in 2008 and now in its second generation (2012-), the Kuga is a familiar sight on our roads. Chunky, spacious and practical, is a solid, safe SUV choice. It was treated to a comprehensive facelift in 2016, so if you can stretch to it, go for this model.
The fourth-generation Renault Clio was launched in 2012, facelifted in 2016 and still a popular supermini choice. Sleek, safe, distinctive and fun to drive, it’s available with a good range of efficient petrol and diesel engines.
No mistake, the Ford Transit is one of Britain’s best-selling used vehicles, according to the AA Cars site. Originally launched in 1965, the Transit is Britain’s No 1 van and has been “making light work of heavy loads” ever since.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is an executive saloon (now in its fifth generation) that set new benchmarks for interior design and technology when it was launched in 2016. Handsome, beautifully made, economical and bursting with tech, it’s refined, spacious and safe, and boasts a game-changing, futuristic cabin.
Available as a three-door hatchback, five-door Sportback, cabriolet and saloon, the versatile A3 is a premium Focus-sized choice which also happens to be Audi’s biggest seller worldwide. Subtly updated in 2016, it’s better than ever.
The latest version of Vauxhall’s big workhouse was launched in 2017, but the outgoing car is still a great second-hand buy. Spacious, comfortable and available with a good range of efficient petrol and diesel engines, it’s a lot of car for your money.
Superminis don’t get much classier than the VW Polo. Refined, well equipped and brimming with build quality, the Polo is a sensible second-hand choice. A new Polo has just been launched, so now is a great time to buy a used example of the excellent fifth-generation car (pictured).
Volkswagen Golf TDi
A second entry in the AA Cars Top 20 for the legendary Volkswagen Golf – Europe’s most popular new car. If you’re after a blend of economy and all-round performance, the 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel version will do just fine. It can return up to 72.4mpg when paired with the DSG automatic gearbox and emits just 102g/km CO2.
The sporty premium hatchback that is the A-Class was the UK’s 10th best-selling new car in 2017. Stylish, well built, entertaining to drive and sporting serious badge appeal, it’s rightly popular. A new model has just been launched, so it’s a great time to buy used examples of the outgoing car.
The chunky Mokka is Vauxhall’s entry in the highly competitive compact crossover sector, up against the likes of the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008. Originally launched in 2012, it was treated to a facelift in 2016 and branded the Mokka X.
If retro chic and a fun drive are your thing, then look no further than the rebooted version of the Fiat 500, originally launched 2007. This iconic little car has aged really well and makes an excellent value used car choice. Treated to a subtle facelift in 2016, the most important changes were upgrades to the safety and infotainment tech.
If it’s a commanding driving position and distinctive looks you’re after, then the quirky Nissan Juke might be for you. Nissan claims that it created the small crossover sector when the Juke was launched in 2010 and it’s still not to everyone’s taste – nor is it the most spacious compact crossover – but there’s no denying that is very popular.
The Mercedes-Benz C Class is a class act and surprisingly affordable as a new car thanks to some great finance deals, making it the UK’s ninth best-selling car of 2017. The latest version is more efficient, well-equipped and luxurious than ever and makes a great upmarket second-hand car choice.
Nissan claims to have created the booming crossover sector with the Qashqai in 2006. Now in its second generation (2013-) it’s as popular as ever. Treated to a subtle facelift in 2017, it’s comfortable, practical and has low running costs (the Acenta 1.5 dCi version is good for 74.3mpg).
The UK’s sixth best-selling car in the UK in 2017, the Mk 7 Astra was launched in 2015 and crowned 2016 European Car of the Year. Good-looking, practical, comfortable to drive and value for money, the Astra is a patriotic hatchback choice because it’s built at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire.
The Ford Focus has been one of Britain’s best-selling cars every year since the Mk 1 was launched in 1998. It’s a great used car choice with its combination of good looks, fun handling, practicality and wide choice of efficient engines. An all-new Focus has just been unveiled so now could be a great time to get the outgoing model (pictured) at a great price.
Launched at the end of 2014, the Corsa was the fifth best-selling car in the UK in 2017. It may not be as fun to drive as the Ford Fiesta, but it is spacious, comfortable, good value for money and boasts low running costs.
The UK’s most popular used car, is also the biggest-selling new car. The seventh-generation Fiesta was launched in 2017, and though some examples are already on the second-hand market, most used models are likely to be Mark 6s (pictured). They are similar to the new version and are still cracking cars. to Go for the 1.0 EcoBoost (100 or 125PS) petrol engine if possible.