The nation's favourite used car

What is the UK’s favourite used car?

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There’s a lot to consider when buying a car. Make? Model? Colour? The possibilities are near endless, but it’s important for you as a dealer to know what car to stock if you want to see customers continue to flow through your dealership doors. 

At Manheim, we have the luxury of seeing hundreds of thousands of used vehicles go through our auction lanes every year. This wealth of information puts us in a very good position to see what is currently popular in the used car market.

But what if we put all of our sales data for 2017 into a machine that’s sole purpose was to create the nation’s favourite used car? What would come out on top? Let’s take a look at the most popular colours, makes, and models in our auctions to find out. 


Looking at sales data from across our auction centres in 2017, it is revealed that black has returned as the nation's favourite used car colour, bumping white to second position after years of dominating the market. 

Silver, blue and grey complete the top five, revealing a rather conservative look to our list.

The move to black is very interesting, following predictions made by the SMMT in January 2017 that darker colours would make a comeback, after years of white dominating the new and used market. 

Despite 17% of all used vehicles sold through our auction lanes in 2017 being black, it’s important to not dismiss brighter colours. In fact, red still features at number 6 on our list, and has been a mainstay in the top ten for the past twenty years. Red will always be a ‘love it, or hate it’ colour, but its lasting popularity means it can’t be ignored. 


Ford is sitting pretty at the top of our list as the most popular make across our auctions in 2017. With three of the top ten highest selling vehicles last year, Ford continue to be a brand that consumers trust to provide them with safe and economical vehicles. 

Looking at the top ten, German brands continue to dominate the market, with BMW, Audi, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz all included. Not only is it testament to their ability to produce vehicles with superb handling and steering capabilities combined with maximum safety and style, but it also shows they generate continued brand loyalty.   


The humble Ford Fiesta continues its reign as the UK’s favourite used car model (tallying with data from the SMMT which reported the model also dominated the new car market for 2017). 

Fun, compact, and stylish, it’s easy to see why the UK has had a long-running adoration of the hatchback. Dealers have been smart over the last 12 months and respected the consumer demand, with the Fiesta accounting for the largest proportion of vehicles sold in our auctions. 

The Result

So there you have it, based on our top ten lists for colour, make, and model, a black Ford Fiesta appears as the nation’s most popular used car.

A Black Ford Fiesta is the most popular used car combination in 2017

In practice, there are many more variants that go into choosing a new car – budget, location, and size, just to name a few. But looking ahead to 2018, it’s important to use existing data to make informed decisions about the market going forwards, and we can say with some confidence that dealers focusing on meeting consumer demand will undoubtedly reap the rewards.

It’s also important not to dismiss the rise of middle range SUVs, as the Nissan Qashqai and Juke both continue to increase in popularity and climb higher up our list. It’s hard to see this stopping anytime time soon, so dealers would be wise to invest.  

However, when it comes to colour, despite Lamborghini launching their new Urus in yellow, and Aston Martin and Ford investing in green for their new V8 Vantage and Mustang Bullitt models, these louder colours may only attract a small audience. It's likely that in the main, black will be back for a few years yet

For a full run-down on the top colours, makes, and models in 2017, take a look at our infographic below. Or you can download the PDF here >

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