According to vehicle information specialists HPI, small family cars were the most popular with used car buyers in 2010 after over 40 per cent of used car checks were for cars at the smaller end of the scale.
And it was no surprise to see Ford was the second most checked car maker due to the popularity of the Ford Focus family hatchback and the smaller Fiesta supermini.
This is expected to continue in 2011, when a new Ford Focus enters the UK market with more efficient engines and more modern styling.
Vauxhall also appeared in the top five due to its position as Ford’s main challenger at the top of the UK sales charts with the likes of the Corsa supermini and Astra family car.
Nicola Johnson Consumer Services Manager of HPI said: “Consumers are clearly focusing on reducing the size of their vehicle as they brace themselves for another year of economic instability."
However, in difficult economic times, used car buyers remain suspicious of electric and alternatively fuelled vehicles after less than one per cent of used car checks were recorded for them.
Johnson explained: “Used car buyers still seem to reluctant to embrace electric vehicles and bio fuel. The cost of these vehicles, combined with a relatively poor infrastructure – especially for used models when it comes to repairs and servicing – are obviously disconcerting for potential buyers."
Rising petrol and diesel prices and improved infrastructure, coupled with the release of a new generation of electric vehicles such as the Citroen C-Zero and the Peugeot iOn could mean an improvement in future years, admitted Johnson.