Before we answer which one is the best, let us first tell you why used cars are the perfect option right now. Just because you need a new set of wheels does not mean you have to go for a brand new vehicle. You can buy any type of secondhand car imaginable in the market. The used car prices initially decreased during the first lockdown, but they started to increase as the lockdown eased. The used car prices again reduced in the last quarter of 2020.
According to Derren Martin, head of valuations UK at Cap HPI, “this drop-off was exacerbated this year by economic uncertainty, high prices, and reasonable predictions that the consumer appetite for used cars that has driven up prices cannot last forever.”
There is no definite answer to the best-used car in the UK last year. If we considered the data of Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) for best-selling vehicles in 2020, the Ford Fiesta topped the list.
However, if we take into account the used car value, desirability, and practicality in today’s market, we can have an ideal car in every vehicle category. Furthermore, the best car can be different for different journalists because everyone has its own parameters for excellence.
For instance, AutoExpress has picked winners in different vehicle categories as per its criteria. Check their list of best cars here.
Best cars on sale in 2020 UK?
Reliability, depreciation, and safety are three primary factors that make a vehicle best in its class. To find the best cars on sale in 2020, we can safely rely on the study of iSeeCars.com. According to vehicle’s long-term reliability, depreciation, and safety, they have picked the best from nine major automotive genres alongside a runner-up. On the safety front, their minimum standard was an average NHTSA rating of at least 4 out of 5. The good thing about this list is the different body styles they covered: from SUVs, trucks, minivans to passenger vehicles.
The Safest, Most-Reliable Vehicles that Hold the Most Value Based on iSeeCars Analysis are:
|Best Compact SUV||Honda CR-V||Subaru Outback|
|Best Luxury Compact SUV||Acura RDX||—|
|Best Midsize SUV||Toyota Highlander||Toyota 4Runner|
|Best Luxury Midsize SUV||Acura MDX||Lexus RX 350|
|Best Full-Size SUV||Chevrolet Tahoe||Ford Expedition|
|Best Luxury Full-Size SUV||Lincoln Navigator||Cadillac Escalade|
|Best 3rd Row SUV||Toyota Highlander||Honda Pilot|
|Best Luxury 3rd Row SUV||Acura MDX||Lincoln Navigator|
|Best Midsize Truck||Toyota Tacoma||—|
|Best Full-Size Truck||Toyota Tundra||Chevrolet Silverado 1500|
|Best Compact Car||Honda Civic||Toyota Corolla|
|Best Luxury Compact Car||Lexus IS 250||Lexus IS 350|
|Best Midsize Sedan||Honda Accord||Toyota Camry|
|Best Luxury Midsize Sedan||Lexus ES 350||Cadillac CTS|
|Best Large Sedan||Toyota Avalon||Chevrolet Impala|
|Best Luxury Large Sedan||Buick LaCrosse||Cadillac XTS|
|Best Sports Car||Ford Mustang||Chevrolet Camaro|
|Best Electric Car||Tesla Model S||Tesla Model 3|
|Best Hybrid Car||Toyota Prius||Toyota Camry Hybrid|
|Best Hybrid SUV||Toyota Highlander Hybrid||—|
|Best Minivan||Honda Odyssey||Toyota Sienna|
|Best car Under $5k||Mazda MAZDA3||Buick Regal|
|Best car Under $10k||Toyota Yaris||Ford Focus|
Word of Advice
Before you buy any of these vehicles, make sure you bear in mind the following points:
- Keep an eye on the number of previous owners: a vehicle with more than three previous owners may suggest it has hidden mechanical issues. Find out how many former keepers your car has had.
- Ensure the car did not have too many miles on the odometer. An average Brit records about 10-12,000 miles a year, so a five-year-old vehicle should not have more than 50k to 60k miles on the odometer. It will not only be a healthier option in terms of vehicle mechanics but will also be cheap to insure.
- It is wise to purchase a vehicle with complete service history, valid MOT certificate, and maintenance receipts. Furthermore, you must make sure there is no outstanding finance on used car you are buying. A free HPI check on used vehicles might not help in this regard, so you need to run a full car check. It will reveal lots of other information like stolen status, mileage anomaly, car value estimation, plate change history, insurance write-off, and more.
What used cars not to buy?
Every new car buyer likes to avoid an unreliable vehicle, not just because it can break anytime but also because of the unescapable repair expenses that are likely to accumulate over time. So, which ones are the most unreliable in the UK? Evidently, those with the least dependability rating.
In this regard, we can rely on studies by independent agencies. For instance, here are the vehicles Consumer Reports believe have much-worse-than-average reliability, according to member replies to their Annual Auto Surveys.
Similarly, a 2018 study conducted by used car warranty provider Warranty Wise revealed the least dependable cars. The review was ‘based on the number of claims against defects and the expenses incurred.’ See the list of 10 most unreliable cars!
Another 2019 study on the least reliable used cars by What Car considers the vehicle’s reliability, kind of faults encountered, and their repair under warranty.
Either you want to sell used car, or buy a cheap vehicle you need to be cautious. It would be best to avoid doubts and fraud by running a free hpi check on used cars. Do not just run any car check, always rely on the best UK vehicle history checking company.
Why are used car prices so high?
We all understand the demand and supply rule: the same case applies to secondhand vehicles. However, we need to see why used car prices went up in the current situation. Here are a few reasons:
- Concerns with using public transport like trains and buses.
- Demand for additional vehicles.
- New drivers, mostly young, ditching the ride-hailing services and instead started learning driving and buying used vehicles.
- Production of new vehicles slowed down with auto manufacturing units closed across the world.
Starting in 2021, while most production facilities are open now, the UK is still in the lockdown. With so much uncertainty in the employment and business markets, we are unsure what the future of used cars holds.