How the pandemic has changed our car buying habits

Dan Powell

Written by

Dan Powell

mercedes heycar
  • heycar research shows how buying habits have changed over lockdown 
  • Used car buyers are looking to treat themselves
  • Range Rover Evoque proves most popular choice

With lockdowns imposed, holidays cancelled and the uncertainty of Brexit on the horizon, car buyers are turning to premium cars to cheer themselves up.

heycar has published its top 10 most popular cars of 2020 and the research has revealed a dramatic shift in car buying habits, with premium and high end models dominating the list of must have used cars.

The Land Rover Range Rover Evoque has been crowned the UK’s most popular used car, while the Mercedes-Benz A-Class takes second place in the rundown compiled by collating lead data from heycar’s site. In third place is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, with the Audi A1 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class also making the top ten.

The findings, which heycar has compiled for the first time, come as coronavirus-related supply issues mean buyers had been facing delays of up to four months for a new factory-built car. As a result, many car buyers are turning to the used market to treat themselves.

Karen Hilton, Chief Commercial Officer at heycar, says: “As a nation, we’ve really been through a lot together over the past twelve months.

“To ensure we all stay safe we’ve had to comply with lockdowns, cancel holidays and avoid unnecessary socialising.

“It’s as a result of these factors, combined with the low cost of borrowing, that we’ve seen a change in behaviour from car-buyers during 2020, who are now looking to treat themselves with higher value vehicles like the Land Rover Evoque which has proved our most popular of the year.

“With the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and C-Class coming in second and third place respectively it shows how much of an appetite there is for vehicles at the top end of the market.

“In fact, to ensure our users get the vehicle of their dreams promptly and with no fuss, we’re offering free delivery on all cars until the end of February 2021, whether that’s for a Mercedes-Benz or a more modest Mitsubishi.

“And, for those looking to bag a festive bargain, our range of pre-registered vehicles offer great savings too.”

heycar currently has more than 13,000 cars for sale from 2020 with 2,500 miles or less on the clock.

Among them are a number of pre-registered vehicles including a Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost 95PS 5-door Trend with an RRP of £17,790 for under £14,000.

A Mercedes-Benz E-Class Saloon E220d AMG Line Night Edition Premium Plus is available for £34,000 when it would cost you £47,005 brand new, while you can save over £4,000 on an Audi Q2 Sport 30TFSI at £22,000 or less.

heycar data also reveals that the people of Birmingham have used the online car marketplace most in 2020. Addresses featuring the B postcode top heycar’s list of car-buying hotspots ahead of Glasgow (G) and Manchester (M).

heycar compiled the top 10 - which also features Sheffield (S), East London (E), Newcastle (N) and Nottingham (NG) - by analysing the total number of leads sent to dealers.

All heycar vehicles are under eight years old, have less than 100,000 miles on the clock and come with both a warranty and a 10-day money back guarantee.

heycar’s most popular used cars of 2020 (up to eight years old)

1 - Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

2 - Mercedes-Benz A-Class

3 - Mercedes-Benz C-Class

4 - Volkswagen Golf

5 - Nissan Qashqai

6 - Ford Focus

7 - Ford Fiesta

8 - Audi A1

9 - Mercedes-Benz E-Class

10 - Audi A3

For coronavirus car buying advice click here.

See also: 

Best rated crossovers on heycar

Best sports cats for £40,000

Best small hatchbacks for £15,000