Press release

Most viewed new and used cars 2019

German marques take the top spots as Auto Trader reveals the UK's most popular new and used cars of 2019

  • VW Golf takes the title of the UK’s most popular new car model for the second year whilst the BMW 3 Series is the most popular used car based on advert views
  • Audi is the public’s most desirable brand for new cars, but BMW is the favourite amongst used car buyers

The latest data from Auto Trader, the UK’s largest digital automotive marketplace for new and used cars, found that 2019’s most popular cars were dominated by German marques. Analysis of over two and a half billion advert views on its marketplace last year revealed that the Volkswagen Golf was the most popular new car model, whilst the BMW 3 Series topped the list as the most viewed used car.

Most viewed cars 2019 | Make and model

New

Used

1. Volkswagen Golf

1. BMW 3 Series

2. Ford Focus

2. Volkswagen Golf

3. Ford Fiesta

3.Mercedes-Benz C Class

4. Land Rover Range Rover

4. BMW 1 Series

5. Land Rover Range Rover Sport

5. Ford Focus

6. BMW 3 Series

6. Ford Fiesta

7. Mercedes-Benz A Class

7.Mercedes-Benz E- Class

8. Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

8. Audi A3

9. Volkswagen Polo

9. BMW 5 Series

10. Mercedes-Benz C Class

10. Vauxhall Corsa

In terms of the overall most popular brands, it was no surprise that the premium German marques triumphed. In the new car corner, the most viewed brand in 2019 was Audi, followed by BMW and Volkswagen, whilst in the used car corner the most popular was BMW, followed by Audi, and Mercedes-Benz.

Commenting on the findings, Auto Trader’s commercial director, Ian Plummer, said: “Though there are certainly some notable exceptions, most volume brands had another challenging year in 2019 and, as a whole, have not kept to the same pace as the premium brands for several years now. When it comes to the most popular cars on our marketplace in 2019, the premium German brands dominate.  Their success has been fuelled by strong residual values that help them benefit from the continuing dominance of finance sales (accounting for more than nine in 10 new and nearly four in 10 used car sales), making these more expensive models increasingly more accessible to a broader range of car buyers. As such, it’ll be interesting to see how well the volume brands will be able to develop their own residual values over the medium-long term to sustainably deliver the sales growth they need.”

The scale and depth of its data capabilities means Auto Trader can analyse the numbers at a more granular level, including fuel type. With searches of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFV) increasing by 38% between December 2018 and December 2019[1] and pure electric vehicles (EV) surging 78% during the same period it’s clear the appetite for low-emission cars is growing.

Analysis of the ad view data show that interest in brand new EVs is starting to overtake that for petrol hybrids, with the all-electric Audi E-Tron receiving 7% more views in 2019, compared to the most popular new hybrid, the Toyota Corolla. However, in the used market, the most popular used EV, the Tesla Model S, has some way to go if it’s to catch the most viewed hybrid, the Toyota Prius, which received 12% more ad views than the Tesla last year.

Plummer continued: “The fact the most popular brand new EVs are receiving more views than their petrol-hybrid counterparts could be attributed to a number of factors, not least the huge advancements in range capabilities, performance and stylings, but also improvements to infrastructure. Coupled with the cut in available grants for plug-in hybrids, these have all resulted in a significant step-change in consumer attitudes towards buying a new electric. It’s curious to see that this is yet to translate to the used market, where concerns about battery life-spans and high price tags continue to push second-hand buyers towards more tried and tested hybrids which remain very good value.”

[1] Total number of AFV searches in December 2018 versus December 2019

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