Change in demand

Hatchbacks replace SUVs in secondhand market

Popular: BMW topped the list

Gas-guzzling SUVs have seen their popularity plunge as drivers switch to fuel-efficient hatchbacks.

A list of Britain’s fastest-selling used cars was dominated by smaller, more economical models in 2022, reversing 2021’s trend in which eight of the top 10 spots were taken by SUVs, according to an analysis by the AA of sales on its website.

AA Cars looked at the average length of time a car was listed before being sold, rather than overall volume of sales or price changes.

While most searches were for the Ford Fiesta, which will cease production next summer, the BMW 116i hatchback was the fastest-seller.

The measure of fastest-selling cars was based on length of time a car was advertised on the site, and a minimum of 7,000 sales were required on AA Cars to qualify for the list.

Mark Oakley, director of AA Cars, said buyers were considering the price of cars as well as fuel economy when making decisions.

“The sharply rising cost of living and fuel is inevitably influencing people’s purchasing decisions,” he said.

“Hatchbacks and city cars tend to be cheaper to buy than SUVs, while their smaller size and lower weight mean they can also offer better fuel economy, which makes them particularly attractive in the current market.”

Mr Oakley said that the shift in demand was a reflection of the economic squeeze. However, prices of secondhand cars shot up early in the pandemic as component shortages caused delays to the delivery of new vehicles. Prices have fallen but remain higher than before the pandemic, according to Autotrader.

The market is waiting to see which model will emerge dominant after the withdrawal of the Fiesta.

Mr Oakley said: “2022 might prove the high-water mark for the all-conquering Ford Fiesta, which for eight years in a row has been the most popular used car of all. Ford has confirmed that production of the Fiesta will cease next year, without saying what will replace it.

“While the sheer number of Fiestas on the road will ensure this perennial favourite remains a major player on the second-hand market for some time, it will be interesting to see how Ford’s competitors might challenge for the top spot in 2023.”

Fastest selling vehicles of 2022 on AA Cars

1BMW 116i
2Peugeot 108
3Kia Ceed
4Hyundai i20
5Vauxhall Astra
6Citroen C1
7Skoda Fabia
8Hyundai i30
9BMW 118i
10Vauxhall Insignia

Most searched-for vehicles of 2022 on AA Cars

1Ford Fiesta
2Ford Focus
3Volkswagen Polo
4Volkswagen Golf
5Nissan Qashqai
6Vauxhall Corsa
7Fiat 500
8Mercedes C Class
9Ford Kuga
10Toyota Yaris

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