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Top cars and car-buying trends of 2021

23 December 2021


As we say goodbye to 2021, Close Brothers Motor Finance looks back at the most popular cars from the year. 

Seán Kemple, Managing Director of Close Brothers Motor Finance, said: “This year has thrown extraordinary challenges at the automotive industry. While the sector hoped for recovery following the immediate impact of the pandemic and national lockdowns, global manufacturing delays created enormous issues. The semiconductor shortage trickled down to car dealers and retailers across the UK, who’s pricing models have been thrown into disarray thanks to a lack of available stock. The release in pent-up demand from consumers should have boosted sales and facilitated recovery across the sector, but instead it put immense pressure on the new car market, pushing many buyers to the used car market instead. While this has opened up opportunities for the used market, it’s under equal pressure to stock used forecourts to meet new levels of demand, as shown by the most popular cars financed in 2021. And this cycle is likely to continue well into 2022.

Smaller models have remained popular for drivers, with the Ford Fiesta featuring in the top two for another year running; although it has moved into second place, having been overtaken by BMW 320d. Land Rover has once again taken third place, continuing the trend of more families choosing a model that suits their needs. In 2022, with the looming 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel models is likely to put alternative fuelled vehicles (AFVs) in higher demand as drivers make the switch to electric.”

Top 12 financed cars of 2021

Main considerations when buying a car: 

  1. Affordability / price - 48%
  2. How economical the vehicle is to run - 47%
  3. The impact on the environment - 40%
  4. It suits the type of driving I do best - 34%
  5. It's what I'm used to - 27%
  6. The manufacturer - 21%
  7. Public reputation - 14%
  8. Top speed - 13% 

[1] Top 12 cars financed by Close Brothers Motor Finance in 2021 (updated to 14.12.21) 
[2] Britain Under the Bonnet report 2021 (please get in touch if you’d like to see the full data) 

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