The latest market research conducted by Creditplus, the leading provider of car finance, has confirmed that the tastes of consumers is very consistent when it comes to choosing their next vehicle. Over the past 5 years, a very strong trend has established itself, with the same makes and models consistently dominating popularity surveys. The only real movement in the top 3 has been the sequence in which they appear.
The most popular used car in 2010 was the Ford Focus, with the Vauxhall Astra second and in third place was the BMW 3-series. The Astra, however, moved up to first place in 2011, and 5.39% of all the cars that were financed through Creditplus during last year were Astras.
In second place, was the BMW 3-series, accounting for 5.39% of cars financed by Creditplus, with the Focus dropping to third, with 4.98% of the used car finance market for used cars.
Looking back 5 years, it appears that the tendency to concentrate on the mainstream German car makes had been historically strong in the UK within the top 20 vehicles. However, in 2006, the Ford Focus was firmly the number one financed used car supplied by Creditplus with the Astra and Land Rover Freelander taking up the remaining spots in the Top3. Ford and Vauxhall can be congratulated on enviable consistency with their evergreen models topping the sales charts since the 1990s when they were introduced.
The Top20 of Creditplus’ most popular used cars is heavily biased towards German manufacturers. Thus, the Audi A3, Audi A4, Volkswagen Golf and BMW 1-Series are all featured in the best-seller list. However, Ford and Vauxhall win overall sharing 7 different models amongst themselves and establishing an inevitable domination, 6 of these models are even within the Top10.
It may come as a surprise to those who are following the reliability surveys as neither Vauxhall nor Ford are known to be enjoying the top spots in independent reliability surveys. It proves that the average consumers are rather conservative in their choice.
Shaun Armstrong, Managing Director of creditplus.co.uk comments: “It is clear to see the ‘family favourites’ are still extremely popular. Many consumers don’t even look past Ford and Vauxhall before making a choice about their next vehicle.
“This is hardly surprising though as these cars have proved to be highly reliable over the last 10 years. They also come well equipped and can be purchased for a reasonable price. All in all they represent a very good choice for consumers.”
New car and used car sectors are still two very different marketplaces and often a statement that is valid for one, proves to be totally irrelevant for the other. Although many new car sales reports are suggesting that drivers are downsizing out of environmental and economical considerations, it seems the used car sector is less concerned about the climate and petrol prices.
Market research carried out by Creditplus in October 2011 reveals that only 13% of buyers are looking for environmentally-friendly and more economical cars with lower CO2 emissions. The same survey showed that only 9% of customers are considering downsizing.
The statistics taken from Creditplus’ used car sales data backs up the presumption that the car finance customers are less concerned about the fuel economy. Five years ago 40% of the 20 best-selling used cars were large vehicles. Not only has this proportion failed to decrease, there’s a steady boost in popularity of large-size vehicles. Five years on, in 2011 as many as 50% of the 20 most popular cars can be classified as large. The recent market research is an invaluable tool for car finance companies like Creditplus, aiding in the understanding of the behaviour and preferences of their potential customers.
Used car sales data provided by Creditplus. The entire Top20 list along with the 2010 results are available on request. The market research and buyer behaviour information was gathered by Redshift Research in October 2011 and is based on a sample of 1000 consumers.