The BMW 1-Series has emerged as the best buy in the UK’s £30bn second-hand market, according to new research by Tesco Cars.
Analysts at the online used car channel, which was launched in April to offer consumers a new, confidence inspiring way to purchase their next car, applied a host of ‘buying’ criteria including running costs, depreciation, reliability, customer satisfaction, desirability and emissions to find the Top 100 best buys on the market today.
The used market dwarfs that of new car sales; in 2010 5.7 million second-hand vehicles were sold – valuing £30bn – compared to 2.2 million new cars.
Since its launch in 2004, the 1-Series, which is BMW’s entry level model and the only rear-wheel-drive car in its class, has proved a sales hit. In the Tesco Cars survey, BMW’s surprise winner scored excellently for its eco versions, residual values, reliability and desirability.
The maturity of the ‘niche’ car market was also illustrated by the Top 10 results, which see the British-built Nissan Qashquai crossover and retro-styled MINI Cooper and Fiat 500 Superminis keeping established bestsellers such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra out of the Top 5 positions, reflecting the positive feedback garnered in its first months of trading.
Of all the big brand models, only the evergreen Ford Fiesta was able to hold its own against the rising tide of niche models through its driving appeal, practicality and low running costs. Citroen’s C4 Grand Picasso is highest ranking MPV in 18th position, and the clever Volkswagen Eos, with its metal folding roof, is top choice for roof-down summer motoring.
Rebecca Ryan, Tesco Cars’ marketing manager, said “Naturally, the one criteria we couldn’t factor into our rankings was personal choice – one person’s first choice model may be another’s last.
“Having taken into account so many variables, including the things that really matter to buyers like how much cars will cost to run, their performance and how desirable they are, our analysis is informative and a unique way of assessing the very best used buys.”