What do the official used car sales figures tell us? I’m no longer sure. On the face of it, they seem to be reassuring and confirm that the nation’s favourite pre-owned model just happens to be the Ford Fiesta. This all comes from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, and they indicate that the UK’s used car market last year was more or less on a par with 2018’s. So that’s 7,935,105 sales in 2019, down a paltry 9935 on the 12 months before.
The reassuring news is that all the diesel-geddon scaremongering hasn’t swayed the real-life car buyer. Diesel car sales were down by just 0.6% and petrol by a teeny 0.3%. Apparently there were ‘surges’ for electric cars but, as a percentage of the overall market, it was a titchy 0.2%. We’ll forget about them for now because they don’t yet count as ‘real’ used cars. Instead, if you’re on this page thinking about something that’s not a supermini, you could make your money go further with a petrol or diesel executive or sports car.
What can we treat ourselves to? This week our budget is based on the rather high average price, which is up 0.6% to £12,800. So how about a great big and very scary 2011 BMW 640d M Sport coupé for a paltry £12,000? It has more than 105,000 miles but the dealer breathlessly announces that it comes with more than £6500 worth of extras. That’s pretty academic by the time any vehicle is nine years old but, even so, here is a lot of continent-crushing car for supermini money.
Then again, if you want something smaller and less aggressive but just as practical, the late, lamented Volkswagen Scirocco is a great model to track down. A 2014 2.0 R-Line TDI DSG Bluemotion with just 40,000 miles is yours, once again, for £12,000. This is a one-owner car and I wouldn’t worry about the automatic gearbox too much. If nothing else, it makes your life easier.
If you want to descend into hardcore wonderfulness, then £12,000 also gets you aboard a 2014 Toyota GT86 2.0 D-4S with a barely run-in 36,000 miles. It’s being sold privately, but I think this is a seller you could trust because I liked all the pictures and the fact that it was black but spotlessly clean.