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14 January 22 Press releases

Turning over a new Leaf: electric Nissan triumphs as 2021’s fastest selling used car


According to the latest data from Auto Trader’s Fastest Selling Index, the 2016 Nissan Leaf (automatic) was the UK’s fastest selling used car in 2021, taking an average of just 17 days to leave forecourts. It marks only the second time a fully electric vehicle (EV) has topped the annual top 10 list during the seven years Auto Trader has monitored the market’s fastest sellers.

The Index, which tracks the potential speed at which vehicles will sell based on live supply and demand in the market, reflects the recent surge in demand for electric and low emission vehicles. In addition to the Nissan Leaf, the top 10 included its French counterpart, the Renault Zoe (2018, automatic), which was 2019’s fastest selling used car. Last year it took an average of just 20 days to leave forecourts, making it 2021’s seventh fastest selling used car. What’s more, two petrol-hybrids also made it onto the list: the 2016 Toyota Prius (automatic) and the 2016 Toyota Yaris (automatic), taking an average of 19 days and 20 days to sell respectively. 

The data also shows a stunning acceleration in the average time it takes for a used EV to sell. On average, a used EV in December sold in just 26 days, which is eight days faster than the average time it takes for a used petrol vehicle to sell (34) and four days faster than a used diesel (30). This is a drop of 18 days from the start of 2021, where used EVs were taking an average of 44 to sell on UK forecourts.

Mustang MACH-E tops the list as the most viewed new EV in 2021

Further highlighting the increased appetite for electric vehicles, Auto Trader’s data shows that engagement in electric cars on its site is up 74% year-on-year, whilst one in five new car searches on its marketplace are for an EV. Topping the list for the most viewed EV last year is Ford’s new fully electric SUV, the Mustang MACH-E, which fended off stiff competition from the already iconic Hyundai IONIQ5, and Volkswagen ID.3, which came in second and third place respectively.

The MACH-E has made such an impact on consumers, that it’s the only pure electric vehicle to make it onto the coveted list of top 10 viewed new cars in 2021, reaching an impressive 9th position. The IONIQ 5 and ID.3 just missed out, reaching a respectable 11th and 12th place respectively.

To help highlight what’s fuelling this demand, Auto Trader has released its The Road to 2030 report which also includes details of what needs to be done to drive mass adoption of EVs as we approach the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel sales.

Commenting on the Index, Auto Trader’s Commercial Product Director, Karolina Edwards-Smajda, said: “It’s incredibly positive to see a pure electric at the top of the list for 2021 for just the second time in the seven years we’ve been tracking the fastest selling used cars. There’s been a real breakthrough for EVs in the UK over the last few years, but 2021 really did mark a major step forward in terms of heightened levels of demand. This was driven, in part, by the greater choice and availability of models, as well as the recent fuel shortage which helped to further accelerate consumer consideration. Although we’re still some way off EVs being financially accessible for the mass market, our data does offer another clear sign of things to come and the exciting opportunity that electric vehicles represent for the industry.”


2021 fastest selling used cars (by days to turn):



Fuel & Transmission

Auto Trader Retail Rating

Predicted Days to Sell


2016 Nissan Leaf

Electric – Automatic




2016 Toyota Prius

Petrol Hybrid – Automatic




2016 Mazda CX-5

Diesel – Manual




2016 Peugeot 3008

Diesel – Automatic




2016 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

Diesel – Automatic




2016 Toyota Yaris

Petrol Hybrid – Automatic




2018 Renault Zoe

Electric – Automatic




2016 Peugeot 308 SW

Diesel – Manual




2016 Nissan Qashqai

Diesel – Automatic




2016 Ford Grand C-IV

Diesel – Manual



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