DEMAND for bigger cars and SUVs is increasing as buyers move away from smaller models following the pandemic.
Research by Volkswagen Financial Services has revealed shows that more people are buying used Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) in 2021 than in 2018, whilst smaller used models have fallen in demand by some 34 per cent during the same period.
The Skoda Karoq is the model that has seen the biggest growth between 2018 and 2021, with finance cases for used models almost quadrupling since 2018.
Volkswagen Financial Services UK's data insights team suggest the research illustrates a definitive shift in the UK's used car buying habits, with people choosing to buy bigger models as a result of changes brought about by the pandemic.
Mike Todd, chief executive at Volkswagen Financial Services UK,said:"I think our research illustrates the seismic impact of the pandemic on our everyday lives, with many people placing greater importance on personal vehicles due to increased mileage and less dependence on public transport and car sharing.
"That's why it stands to reason that bigger models have grown in popularity as people are turning to cars with more space, and vehicles that they feel safe and comfortable in.
"I also believe this trend will continue to accelerate, especially as staycations seem here to stay and people are generally becoming more environmentally conscious, so may be inclined to choose a road trip to a domestic beauty spot rather than a holiday overseas."
According to the study, six in ten people said that private vehicles have risen in importance since the pandemic.
And with hybrid working being implemented by many businesses this autumn and employees beginning to commute into the office once again, the data also suggests that people may want bigger cars because they are driving more miles instead of relying on public transport.
Another possible explanation for the rising popularity of SUVs is that staycations have become far more common over the past 18 months - a trend that is likely to continue.
Interest in staycations particularly increased among younger people, with 73% of 18-24 year olds keener for a road trip as a result of Covid-19, compared to just 33% of over 65.
Across the used car market as a whole, the latest figures released by Auto Trader UK show that the used car market continues to go from strength to strength, with used prices continuing to hit new heights - increasing by 21.4 per cent in September, which is the biggest monthly increase ever recorded up from 17.2 per cent in August.
Used cars are currently in high demand due to a global shortage of semiconductors, which are needed for the production of new cars.
In turn, this has significantly reduced the number of new vehicles available for buyers and inflated used car prices.