The old adage that a new car depreciates in value by 20 per cent just by driving it off the lot might be a little extreme, but in all honesty it will never be too far off the mark. It's just one of the reasons why more and more people prefer to head down to used car dealers when they're in the market for a new motor, as well as the lower prices and the warranty and history checks your dealer can provide.
Vauxhall is one make building cars that stand the test of time, regardless of previous ownership. With a rich heritage dating way back to its first ever car in 1903, Vauxhall's British manufacturing ingenuity has produced some fantastic models in recent years, so here's a quick guide (by size) for anyone looking to grab themselves a quality pre-owned Vauxhall.
Described as "the core car and base of the pyramid" by a General Motors exec upon its launch, you can't go wrong with the Vauxhall Corsa. As Vauxhall's most popular car, it's likely you'll be able to find plenty in brilliant condition, and at a fair price to boot.
The 2006 Corsa model took one giant leap forward for the model and reinvigorated car-buyers with its increased space and comfortable ride. Despite verging on a supermini, at four metres long it's still small enough to be in this segment. Like the larger Vauxhall Astras, recent Corsas have two particular profiles for three and five-door models; the choice is yours...
If you're on the hunt for something a little more distinctive, the Vauxhall Adam could be the car for you. Its petit dimensions make it smaller than the Corsa, while the contemporary design is still right on the money, not always the case with pre-owned cars. Speaking of money, the Adam is very reasonably priced even when new, so if you can track down a pre-owned one you could make out like a bandit.
The Vauxhall Astra is one of the most popular cars on sale in the UK, so don't be surprised if you find a lot of them in a used car dealer's lot. A wide selection simply provides more choice and the chance to find the right car for you. It's one of the best looking hatchbacks by far, rivalling the Volkswagen Golf in terms of interior, but it might be the Astra's ability to go the distance on long drives while maintaining an in-car peace and quiet that really make it a fan favourite.
If coupes are more your cup of tea then why not try a GTC? For it, Vauxhall decided to keep the Astra name but tweak the styling and mechanics to transform the hatchback into a sporty and reliable coupe. Speed isn't a problem with its 178bhp 1.6-litre turbo engine, and at the kind of prices you can pick these babies up for pre-owned it's something of a steal.
When it comes to the larger Vauxhall models at a used-car dealership, why not start with the Insignia? You may recognise it from the motorways as it's a popular choice with fleet buyers, predominantly due to its power and incredible comfort. It was destined to replace the Vectra in both popularity and style and it didn't disappoint when it was first introduced in 2008.
Available as a five-door hatchback, four-door saloon and a sports tourer, the Insignia is as reliable as its forefather but comes with a sleek and sporty finish that's simply more pleasing to the eye. Although the design has been well refined you'll still find plenty of space in the Insignia, and with the 2.0 CDTi ecoFLEX Elite Nav model in particular you can pick up a real piece of luxury for far less than you might imagine.
If its space you crave then look no further than a used Vauxhall Zafira. Its seven seats provide enough room for all the family, as well as any dogs, suitcases and shopping you may need to get from A to B. Very well-equipped and with a gorgeous full black leather interior, it's as handsome as it is economical. A Zafira is far easier to handle than most multi-performance vehicles, and much safer too; they come with more airbags as standard and it was awarded the full five stars by Euro NCAP when it was first crash tested. It could be the perfect family car for those of us who want high-class without the high-cost.
Vauxhall's UK popularity and high-level of new model sales have resulted in them being one of the most convenient car manufacturers to find when shopping for a pre-owned car. The only difficulty will be choosing which model you like the most.