Despite the government’s plan to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2035, the second-hand market is holding steady and there’s money to be made on traditionally fuel-powered cars.

Looking to snap up a bargain ride for your business? Or are you perhaps in the market to sell as a third-party intermediary? You’re going to want to consider where you buy – and sell. As this report by ATS Euromaster illustrates, location has a massive impact on the asking price.

The distilled findings cover Q1 to Q3 2019. Let’s start with car types…

Diesel holds firm

Looking to sell? Keep the following in mind:

  • Diesel cars sell most often. In 2019, 54% of sales were diesel, 44% were petrol, 1.5% were hybrid, with electric bringing up the rear.
  • The average second-hand car on sale has had three owners in total.
  • Hatchbacks go most cheaply, in part because they’re the most common.
  • Conversely, 4x4s can be sold at the highest price
  • A BMW 3 Series has great longevity, retaining 23% of its value after 140,000 miles.

Looking to buy?

It pays to go as far north as Scotland to make a purchase.

The five cheapest locations, in order, were:

  1. Kilwinning, North Ayrshire, Scotland
  2. Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland
  3. Prestwick, South Ayrshire, Scotland
  4. Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England
  5. Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England

The five most expensive?

  1. Chelmsford, Essex, England
  2. Orgreave, South Yorkshire, England
  3. Chatham, Kent, England
  4. Winsford, Cheshire, England
  5. Acton, London, England
  • A pair of BMW 3 series with 35,000 miles can have a price differential of more than £5,000, simply because you bought the one in Scotland (Kirkcaldy) and the other in a small market town in Merseyside (Newton-le-Willows). There are just 250 miles between these two locations.
  • In theory, it’s entirely possible to catch a train from one town to the next, then drive your new purchase back the other way – all for less than £300. You’re saving thousands of pounds simply because you looked for a second-hand bargain in an area outside your usual boundaries.

So, what’s the most popular second-hand car brand in the UK?

An old-timer remains on top. Yup, the Ford Fiesta comes in first place with its cousin, the Focus, in second.

Fords are a good bet, then, but even here, location matters. To nab the Fiesta, you’re going to want to avoid areas like Billericay, Essex, and look out for quiet towns like Layer de la Haye in Colchester.

London has the greatest number of Fiestas on sale at any one time (200), but it pays to avoid the big metropoles if you can help it. A greater number of buyers equals a dearer asking price.

So, whether you’re looking to buy or sell, used cars remain a viable option, and despite the changes coming in 2035, there’s still a market for traditional cars like the trusty Ford.

No doubt the market will change in years to come, but for now, traditional represents the most value for buyers and sellers alike.

Ultimate guide infographic to buying a used car