Make a Statement, or Make a Steal? (Marchtime Decisions)

With the start of March comes that time of the year; it’s New Reg’ month! This is a time where a particular group of people immediately rush out to be part of the prestigious ‘20 plate’ club – and who can blame them?

However, this creates some golden opportunities for anyone who would rather go for a cherished used car. As all of the new cars are ordered, and driven away the number of used cars available ramps up massively, so there are definitely deals to be had!

Whatever your tastes, whatever your requirements there are options available to you. To follow are some ‘Hot Picks’ to keep your eyes peeled for:

Small Hatchback: Ford Fiesta

A classic choice for anyone looking for a small hatchback – why choose anything other than not only the best selling car in its class but the best selling car in the UK? The Fiesta represents a combination of simple utility on a smaller scale; combined with comfort and an engaging driving experience. A good looking small car, which due to the volumes sold in the UK over the last few years means there will now be plenty of tasty choices on offer of the 1-3 year old variety (i.e. barely run in). 

Keep a special look out for the fantastic ‘Ecoboost’ petrol engines that Ford have championed in the last generation of petrol powered cars. These are “reduced capacity” engines (often 3 cylinder 1.0 Litre engines supported by a turbocharger to maximise efficiency from the smallest amount engine). My pick would be an Ecoboost 125 engine; which is a version of the above which has been tuned to develop 125bhp, making for a fizzy throttle experience you wouldn’t necessarily expect from an economy focused small car!

Ford Fiesta SERP

Family Hatchback: Kia Cee’d

The Cee’d is an increasingly popular choice these days; and for good reason. It represents great value for money and comes with a 7 year warranty – meaning that many of the used examples you may be searching through will still be covered by a manufacturer warranty, and nobody is about to complain about that are they? 

Kia’s family hatchback was heavily redesigned inside and out in 2019, which means that there will be options available for these newer models in a higher price bracket, or some of the 2nd generation models from a few years older available at even more competitive prices. Both generations come with large amounts of interior and boot space, and alloy wheels as standard on 90% of the model range.

Kia Cee'd SERP

SUV: Nissan Qashqai

Another of the best selling cars in the UK makes an entry here, and again for good reason. The Qashqai has a strong range of engines from diesels to small, economic (and again turbocharged) petrol engines, meaning that potential purchasers will have many options to choose from to meet their needs best. This is coupled with more storage space than a family sized hatchback; but not as big of a physical road presence as full sized SUV (think Range Rover size here). 

When you get into the Qashqai you really get the impression that Nissan have done their best to make it a premium experience for the user given the budget they were working to in order to keep the vehicle as affordable as possible. (It’s no Mercedes S-Class of course; but it would be impractical to expect it to be so)! 

Nissan’s SUV has been a bestseller in the UK for many years now – it was one of the forerunners in the early days of the SUV/Crossover market here, so no matter what age you are looking at, and what your budget there will be options available to you. 

Nissan Qashqai SERP

Saloon: Alfa Romeo Guilia

An often glossed over Gem, ignored for the more obvious choices from the German giants. This car will never be a bestseller like the Fiesta and Qashqai above, as realistically it could do 100mpg and have 1000bhp and people would still buy 5 Series’ and E Classes (not without good reason of course, both offer a premium experience you struggle to find anywhere else in the high-volume section of the automotive market). However the argument for choosing a Guilia over the German (or even Japanese) competitors is simple, it is a beautiful looking car, you get a real tactile sensation of solid engineering and driving fun when belting along, and finally it is the ‘left-field’ choice. Put simply its the car you buy in this class if you want to say stand out from the obvious. 

The Guilia was released in 2016, so we are now just past the point where original owners 3 year PCP finance contracts have finished and those cars handed back – (Not all contracts are 3 years of course, but the most common term for PCP finance is 3 years). Due to this, there is now actually a used market for the Guilia; which means opportunity for anyone who wants to make a fantastic choice.

Alfa Romeo Guilia

Sports: Ford Mustang

Some of you may have read through all of the above and thought, “I don’t care about boot space, about practicality or fuel having a 1.0L engine for fuel economy. I want something powerful, fast and attention-grabbing”. Well look no further than the Ford Mustang, arguably one of America’s most iconic cars of all time. Ford introduced the Mustang to the UK in 2015, and now the used market for these cars is starting to develop – for a long time this was hindered by Ford being unable to meet demand so used models came with an overinflated price tag. 

Now though things have settled, and we are left with the chance to buy (often) low mileage examples for great prices compared to new, as many owners use them as weekend cars rather than ‘Daily Drivers’. Mustangs also hold their value extremely well due to the relatively exclusivity and desirability of the name; and also the fact that the 6th generation (2015-2019) and 7th generation (2020+) are extremely well-sorted cars, combining power with great handling, and making all the right shouty noises whilst doing so. 

Just consider your choice before you buy; there are only two engine options on sle in the UK, the 2.3L Ecoboost 4 cylinder and the practically nuclear 5.0L V8 monster – which isn’t for the lighthearted, or for anyone who is even vaguely concerned about fuel economy in any way shape or form!

Ford Mustang SERP

There are of course multitudes of different vehicles for sale today, new with that ever-sought-after ‘20’ Plate, and used from our trusted selection of dealers who can help you find a used model at a fantastic price. Whatever your priority, be it make a ‘20’ plate statement or get yourself a used ‘steal’, there is no better time of the year!

See my Advice for Buying Used and my Map Through the Car Finance Maze for help with the next steps of your journey.

About Carsnip
Carsnip is the UK’s largest used car search engine, with over 500,000 dealer sold used cars across the UK. We operate a natural language search engine, to help you find your perfect used car, and narrow down the choice by what’s most important to you. 

About the Author
Sam Wardega is a freelance car journalist working on behalf of Carsnip.com.
A lifetime Petrolhead who started with Hot Wheels aged 2, and now just spends his life savings on owning his dream cars. As they say, boys don’t stop playing with toys; they just get bigger and more expensive!

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