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  • Oct 13, 2021
  • 3 Minutes

Where are the UK’s used car hotspots right now?

If you’re in the market for a used car, you’re not alone.

As you may have already read in the news, used cars are currently in extraordinarily high demand due to a global shortage of semiconductors, which are needed for the production of new cars.

And as a result, this has significantly reduced the number of new vehicles available for buyers and inflated used car prices.

So that got us thinking – where in the UK have the most used cars changed hands this year?

Well, we can reveal that according to our research, Crawley in West Sussex is this year’s used car hotspot of the UK!

This is because we have financed more used cars for customers in the historic town, located 28 miles south of London and 18 miles north of Brighton, than any other town or city in the UK.

Where else has seen lots of used car activity?

Croydon in South London and Dunfermline in Scotland complete our top three, with Slough in Berkshire and Aberdeen in Scotland also making the top five.

The other locations included in our top 10 are: Whitehaven in Cumbria, Chelmsford in Essex, Dundee in Scotland, Preston in Lancashire and Gillingham in Kent.

And the top three cities that have seen the biggest annual growth in the number of used cars exchanging hands, according to our data insights team, are: Coventry, Southampton and Glasgow.

What do the experts think?

Our CEO Mike Todd explained that lots of buyers are turning to used cars in the current climate – a trend which he can’t see slowing down any time soon.

He said: “The used car market in the UK has never been as buoyant as it is right now with supply shortages continuing to affect the new car market and it’s encouraging to see that so many young people are interested in driving used models.

“Used cars are typically much cheaper to buy than new cars, and there are usually shorter wait times once you’ve chosen the vehicle you want, so there are plenty of advantages to going down the used route.

“I think lots of people are still apprehensive about travelling on public transport, so coupled with the supply issues, we’re seeing increased demand among people looking for cheaper personal mobility options as the world gradually gets back to some kind of normality.”

What else did our research find?

We’ve found that a higher proportion of people under 30 are currently financing used cars than at any point over the past four years.

In fact, at present, 32% of the used car market is made up of people younger than 30, which is more than in 2020 (27%), 2019 (23%) and 2018 (19%).

The annual number of used electric cars being financed by our customers has surged 76% from 2020 to 2021, whilst petrol and diesel cars have fallen 23% and 37% respectively.

We can also reveal the top 10 most popular used car models that we’ve financed this year, which are: Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Polo, Audi A3, Audi A1, Volkswagen Tiguan, Audi Q3, ŠKODA Octavia, Audi Q2, ŠKODA Fabia and Audi Q5.

The latest data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows that the UK’s used car market grew 108.6% in the second quarter of 2021, with more than 2.1 million cars changing hands.

This is up 6.6% on 2019 pre-pandemic levels and is the best ever Q2 performance for the used car market.

For more information on used cars, visit our dedicated hub.


READ MORE: Seven top tips for financing your dream car

READ MORE: What are subscription cars and why are they so popular with younger people?


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