The majority of people in the UK have seen their life change in some way, shape, or form because of COVID. One such example of this is consumers’ driving habits. For many, the daily commute has been eliminated, along with frequent trips to the store, gym, school, childcare facility, etc. Though many, if not most, will eventually return to their previous driving habits, the fact that people are staying home more and driving less has the potential to impact buying activity.
In particular, I wondered how such a significant shift in consumer behavior might influence buyers’ search behavior and interest in vehicles this year. To answer this question, I analysed used vehicle leads on CarGurus for the first half of 2020 and compared it to the used vehicle leads we saw for the same criteria in 2019.
Consistency in the marketplace
Looking over the list for the UK, one thing stood out to me: consistency. In the 12 regions I analysed, one region had the same top three vehicles as last year, five had the same nameplates but in a different order, and the remaining six had only one new nameplate that broke into the top three this year. In particular, vehicles like the BMW 3 Series, Ford Fiesta, and Vauxhall Corsa have remained popular from year to year. Take a look at the 2020 top used cars by lead submissions in the UK here.
What this tells me is that despite the pandemic sending the UK economy into a recession, consumers’ needs and buying behavior have remained consistent. While there were some changes to the top vehicles this year, many of the vehicles were the same, just in a new order. Additionally, many of the shifts in areas such as Greater London, South West England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland were minor. For example, the Ford Focus replacing the Ford Fiesta in Scotland’s top three, or the A3 replacing the C-Class in Northern Ireland.
During a period that is ripe with disruption, the car buying behavior for consumers submitting leads on vehicles remains fairly consistent across many of the markets in the UK.
For the full list of 2019 top used cars by lead submissions in the UK, email firstname.lastname@example.org.