Pandemic drives surge of small car owners looking to sell for cash

Drivers clambered to offload their small cars for cash during 2020 as the pandemic caused lockdowns across the UK. Sell My Car Direct, previously Southern Car Buyers, saw more than a quarter of the cars offered to the car buying service being made up of city cars and superminis (27%). Add hatchbacks and the percentage rises to 40% (2,400 of 5,964), as drivers flocked to sell off their superfluous second vehicles, or upgrade to larger, more practical cars, during the pandemic.

Figures show the most popular supermini that drivers wanted to sell for cash was the Ford Fiesta, closely followed by the Vauxhall Corsa and VW Polo. In the hatchback class, owners were keen to trade in the Ford Focus, VW Golf and Vauxhall Astra, with the BMW 1 Series and MINI Coopers high up on the list too. Unsurprisingly, the makes which topped the offered for sales chart were the usual suspects of Ford, VW, Vauxhall, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Spencer Kent, Director of Sell My Car Direct, was pleasantly surprised with the volume of cars offered for sale through the car buying service, saying: “I think the entire automotive industry worried that the market would grind to a half when the first lockdown first came into place in March. But it was evident straight away that the appetite for trading in cars was still high, which was a relief. We saw huge demand for drivers wanting to cash in on surplus cars that were sat on the driveway gathering dust.

We feel a demand for a quick cash injection soared as people used lockdown to make house and garden improvements as they were forced to spend more and more time at home. There was also a lot of emphasis put on family life and holidaying in the UK, which called for a more practical family car rather than a smaller car for commuting and jaunts around town. That explains why so many superminis and hatchbacks were quoted for in 2020.” he added.

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