Car brand preferences for used vs. new car buyers in the UK
April 30th, 2024, Janice Fernandes

Car brand preferences for used vs. new car buyers in the UK

The automotive industry has faced a number of challenges in recent years, including chip shortages and supply chain disruptions. This led to a decrease in the availability of new cars, and in turn, a sharp increase in demand for used cars. But with so many brands on the market, which ones are most popular among those considering a pre-owned vehicle, and how do these preferences differ from those looking to buy new? 

Using data from YouGov BrandIndex, we looked at carmakers’ Consideration scores, which track how likely UK adults are to consider a brand when buying a car, certain brands tend to be more popular with used car shoppers, while others are preferred by those looking for new vehicles.

There’s overlap between seven out of the top 10 car brands considered by both used and new car buyers, although their rankings differ. For instance, Ford emerges as the most highly considered brand among potential used car buyers (41%) and ranks among the top five for new car buyers (27%).

Volkswagen ranks high for both used and new car buyers, but with a significant difference in consideration rate (38% vs. 29%).

Toyota is a top choice for nearly two-fifths of used car buyers (38%) and a quarter (26%) of new car buyers. 

Looking at the complete top 10 list for used car buyers, we see brands like Nissan (25%), Volvo (24%), and Hyundai (24%) make the cut. 

In contrast, the top ten brands for new car buyers skew slightly more premium, with Mercedes-Benz (32%), Tesla (24%) and Porsche (18%) completing the top 10. This suggests that new car buyers may be more willing to consider luxury and performance factors when making their choice.

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Methodology: YouGov BrandIndex collects data on thousands of brands every day. A brand’s Consideration score is based on the question: “When you are in the market next to utilise a service, from which of the following would you consider using?” Data from surveys of adults aged 18 years and above residing in Great Britain between January 1, 2024, and April 20, 2024. Figures are based on a four-week moving average. Learn more about BrandIndex.