SWINDON drivers bought the same amount of used 4x4s over the summer than during the same period last year despite penny-pinching prompted by the pandemic.

CarShop’s Penny Lane outlet and 10 other branches of the UK's largest used car retailer took part in a consumer buying trends survey which revealed that there was no difference in the average spend on used 4x4s in the borough in 2019 and 2020.

But customers remained careful with their cash as the average spend on used sports cars dropped by six per cent compared to last year.

Across the rest of England and Wales, the number of newly-purchased used sports cars skyrocketed by 82 per cent from 2019’s figures.

Head of business at CarShop Swindon Steven Bryant said: “At a time when many families were investing in 4x4s to suit their British staycation needs, it is surprising that Swindon didn’t follow suit.

“Perhaps, this is due to how the Wiltshire town has the beautiful countryside on its doorstep without needing to travel miles.

“Instead, they seem to be choosing to zip around the Cotswolds and the North Wessex Downs in their new convertible.”

The south west was one of the top three regions where used sports cars sold the best, following behind Yorkshire and Humber and the north west. The most popular model in Swindon and the UK overall was the Mercedes-Benz SLK.

The number of used 4x4 cars bought on a national scale has similarly seen a year-on-year rise, increasing by 17 per cent.

The south west was third-highest for regions where they sold best, having experienced a 29 per cent increase on last year’s figures. Swindon alone, however, did not follow suit as 4x4 sales figures here were almost exactly the same in 2020 as they were in 2019.

The survey collected sales data from June 1 to August 31 2020 following the business’ closure between March and April due to the coronavirus outbreak.

CEO Nigel Hurley said: “The bounce-back for the used car marketplace in terms of the British public’s confidence has been hugely encouraging.

"As other forms of transportation, like airlines, suffer in this new normal, it seems vehicle sales are performing to nearly the same level that they were last year, if not better.”