BMW driving

Cars that the World Wants to Buy

Our new study reveals which cars people want to buy the most in over 180 different countries

If you're looking to sell your car, knowing which brands are the most popular right now will help you gauge how much interest you'll receive for your motor. For example, our data shows that in the UK some of the quickest selling cars include the BMW X1 and the Kia Ceed.

In our new study, we analyse AutoTrader's own comprehensive listing data in the UK, as well as global search data for 180 other countries, to reveal the most popular cars people want to buy across 200 different car brands.

If the car you want to sell isn't among the most popular brands below, don't worry; we can help get your car front and centre, and show you how to tempt even the most headstrong of buyers into giving your second-hand car a well-deserved second look. Our experts have plenty of advice and tips to help you create the best advert for your car.

Cars that the UK Wants To Buy The Most

Our data teams monitor hundreds of thousands of vehicle listings every day, including 90,000 vehicle updates and an average of 19,000 vehicle listing uploads and removals each day. With circa 450,000 car listings online, our expert data scientists have been analysing the Auto Trader online marketplace to reveal which cars the UK wants to buy the most.

By comparing the volume of advert clicks on the Auto Trader website for the last 12 months, our data shows that BMWs are the most sought-after manufacturer across the UK. Specifically, the numbers show that the BMW 3 series is the BMW model that the UK wants to buy the most, along with the Volkswagen Golf and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

#1 Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf
People looking for cars on the Auto Trader website click on VW Golf ads more than any other car models. With an unshakeable reputation as a 'cool' car, this iconic hatchback attracts drivers, thanks to its premium-looking design and stylish interior, and keeps drivers loyal thanks to its reliability, high-performance engine and practical cargo capacity. The newer Golf models include small but steady design evolutions, including an optically faster-looking exterior and super-modern digital dashboard. The VW Golf is packed with new tech, yet remains unintimidating and retains the raw power, ample space and dependability that has made it so popular for nearly 50 years.

#2 BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series
With a reputation for engineering excellence, an association with luxury and prestige, and a sleek and sporty appearance, the BMW 3 series is a UK favourite. Adverts on Auto Trader for a BMW 3 series attract plenty of clicks and attention, with potential buyers attracted to this car's elegant lines, signature BMW kidney grille and high-power drive. It looks good and feels even better to drive - and what's more, BMWs generally hold their value more than other car brands, making it a solid auto investment.

#3 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Combining a smooth ride with sophisticated style, and a strong emphasis on safety features, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the UK's third most desirable car according to our ad-click data. The C-Class is a masterclass in sound absorption, with the car's insulation minimalising outside noise, and adding to the sense of tranquillity and premium upscale driving experience within the cabin. It also boasts a wealth of safety features such as collision prevention systems, adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist. The sleek exterior, with integrated spoilers, elongated hood and sculpted body contours help seal the deal in making the C-Class one of the cars the UK wants to buy the most.

Fastest Selling Cars in the UK

Digging deeper into the data, we next compared the number of days a listing is live on our site before it's taken down (assuming that it's removed due to a successful sale) to find the fastest-selling cars in the UK.

#1 BMW X1

The car that the UK snaps up the quickest on Auto Trader is the BMW X1, with an average live listing time of just 11 days. With precise handling, a well-tuned suspension and responsive steering, it's known for providing a sporty and agile driving experience. The X1 also boasts lots of advanced tech designed to create a more convenient, entertaining and safer drive. The model's Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity, a responsive infotainment system, intuitive controls and driver-assistance systems all combine with its high-quality plush interior, elevated seating and large cargo area to create a car that feels as good as it looks. No wonder our data shows that it's a quick seller!

#2 Lexus NX 350h

Lexus NX 350h
Another hugely popular SUV that is super speedy at flying off the (metaphorical) shelves, is the Lexus NX 350h. Listings selling this luxury compact hybrid are typically only live for 13 days and there are plenty of reasons why they are quick-sellers; the NX 350h has an incredible crossover appeal, boasting SUV-like styling and higher seating positions but with the economic engine efficiency you'd expect from a hybrid. Given its rugged yet stylish look, reputation for reliability, its advanced safety features and promise to deliver a luxurious and smooth ride, it's easy to see why UK drivers are snapping up the Lexus NX 350h so quickly.

#3 Kia Ceed

Kia Ceed
The Kia Ceed has a competitive price point, with its sleek aesthetics, bold grille and well-proportioned body style working together to create a car that looks more expensive than it is. Adverts for the Kia Ceed are typically only live for 13 days before they sell on the Auto Trader website. Popular with city drivers, small families and commuters, the Kia Ceed is available with a range of efficient engines, including hybrid options, and has popular safety features such as adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring. The compact model's user-friendly technology and versatile cargo space combined with its attractive styling and economic advantages promise a quick sale

During our study we also analysed global search data for over 200 car brands in over 180 countries, to find the cars not just the UK, but the whole world wants to buy the most.

world map

Tesla came out as the car brand people are looking to buy the most across the world, topping the tables as the most Googled car for sale in 39 countries. It came first in the USA (in 25 of the 50 states, see appendix below), as well as Canada, France, Spain, Germany, Australia, UAE and Scandinavia.

Jeep came out as the next most searched car for sale, coming out top in 27 countries including Iceland, Mexico, Argentina, India and the Philippines. The enduring popularity of the Jeep is down to its uniqueness (thanks to so many customisable features), its resilience and off-road capability, and its iconic look. Anyone looking to sell a Jeep Wrangler won't be waiting too long, with nearly 4,500 online searches for 'second hand Jeep' made every month.

The third and fourth ranking spots go to BMW and Toyota. BMW is the car brand people want to buy the most in 20 countries, including the UK, South Africa, Estonia and Jamaica, whilst Toyota is the car manufacturer being searched to buy the most in Namibia, Lithuania and Venezuela.

Mercedes rounds off the top five car brands the world wants to buy the most, coming out on top in 11 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Puerto Rico.

Two iconic supercar brands, Lamborghini and Ferrari, made the top 10 list of the cars that the world wants to buy the most. Both synonymous with performance, prestige and luxury, it's clear that these manufacturers continue to captivate enthusiasts and collectors across continents. To no surprise, Ferrari is the most searched-for vehicle to buy in Italy, and whilst no European country placed its fellow Italian brand Lamborghini as their top choice, four North American countries did: Honduras, Cayman Islands, Montserrat and Dominica.


Global and USA Methodology

Google search data was used to establish the annual search volume (January 2022 to December 2022 inclusive) in each country and USA state for 'buy + [car brand]' and '[car brand] + for sale' search terms (allowing for native language translations), for 203 different car manufacturers. The most searched for car manufacturer is named as the car brand that country or region wants to buy the most. Data correct as of June 2023. Data source: Google Keyword Planner

UK Methodology

The cars the UK wants to buy the most are derived by analysing the number of ad views in the last 12 months per car make and model, where an ad view is counted as a click onto an advert after a search is performed on the AutoTrader website. To ascertain the quickest-selling car makes in the UK, AutoTrader listing data for the last 12 months was analysed to find the average number of days the vehicle was listed on site before being removed (on the assumption that listings are removed once the car has been sold). Data analysed is for used cars only and correct as of June 2023. Data source: AutoTrader UK

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