Used car boom set to roll into new year after SUVs dominate charts in 2021

The past 12 months have been a boom year for the used car market amid a squeeze on the supply of new motors, with 2022 likely to mirror that trend, a new report reveals.

By Scott Reid
Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 11:13 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 11:13 am

Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) proved to be among the fastest selling used cars of 2021, while the Ford Fiesta hatchback retained its title of the most popular car overall for the seventh year in a row, according to AA Cars.

The Mercedes GLA has been crowned the fastest selling used car of the year, with examples of the luxury German model spending the shortest time on the AA Cars platform before being snapped up by eager buyers.

SUVs accounted for eight out of the ten fastest selling used cars of 2021, the firm noted.

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The used market has been a beneficiary of the supply problems that have dogged the new car market. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

In addition to the luxury Mercedes, Land Rover and Range Rover models appearing in the top ten, the more affordable Hyundai Tucson and Ford Kuga SUVs proved to be rapid sellers.

The popular Volkswagen Polo and Ford Focus were the only hatchbacks to make the best-sellers list and prevent an SUV clean sweep of the top ten fastest selling used cars.

James Fairclough, chief executive of AA Cars, said: “Trusty favourite the Ford Fiesta has taken the top spot on our most popular vehicles list once again this year, but our ranking of the fastest selling cars is remarkable for being close to an SUV clean sweep.

“So dominant have SUVs been in 2021 that only two non-SUVs made it into our league table of the top ten fastest selling used cars. While some SUVs are more at home on the road than off it, all are designed to be spacious and practical - and these have proved popular qualities in 2021 as thousands of people looked to their car for a Covid-safe way both to commute and to explore the country.”

He added: “In addition, the used market has been a beneficiary of the supply problems that have dogged the new car market. With would-be buyers often facing a wait of several months if they order a brand new model, many are opting to buy second-hand instead, where supply is better and there are thousands of vehicles available to drive away the same day.

Drivers are spoiled for choice in the used car market, and demand has been strong for much of the year, with 2021 searches surpassing even those of 2020, which was a busy year in its own right.

“Dealers will now be readying themselves for what they hope will be another successful year in 2022.”

An analysis of the most searched-for models confirmed the Ford Fiesta as the most popular used car for the seventh year running, with the Ford Focus in second place for the second year in a row.

The Ford Transit van was the ninth most searched-for used vehicle of 2021, having burst into the AA Cars most popular list for the first time in 2020. This year the Transit was joined by the Volkswagen Transporter, another van making its debut in the top ten.

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