We regularly see statistics telling us which are the most popular cars with UK motorists in terms of new car purchases. However, this does not reflect the preference of the average motorist who tends to purchase 2nd hand vehicles.
Price comparison company
MoneySupermarket has therefore compiled a list of the number of car insurance quotes run on its website for every different type of vehicle available in the UK to find out which is the most popular with British motorists in general; providing a more accurate reflection of our motoring preferences.
10. Honda Civic
Remarkably, the Honda Civic is the only Japanese entrant in the top ten. This is despite Toyota being the biggest car manufacturer in the world in terms of new car sales. However, Toyota’s most popular vehicle appears to be the Yaris, which was only the 22nd most popular vehicle with British drivers; some way behind arch rival Honda with its Civic.
The Honda Civic was initially launched in 1973 with an economical 1.2 litre engine as a response to the fuel crisis of the time. However, it has subsequently gone on to acquire a much sportier reputation which seems to be holding it in good stead despite the rising price of fuel.
Nevertheless, the Civic only just managed to creep into the top ten; attracting just 800 more car insurance searches than the more economical Ford Ka.
9. Volkswagen Polo
The Volkswagen Polo was another vehicle released in response to the economic downturn of the 1970s, being more fuel efficient and cheaper to run than many of its competitor’s offerings.
This is a philosophy which the company has sought to maintain to the present day, and you would expect this to make it relevant to the problems which are currently faced by motorists. However, the Polo could do no better than 9th place; someway behind its main competitors over at Ford and Vauxhall whose models seem to be cheaper to buy and run initially. This is despite the launch of the Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion; a diesel version of the model which is capable of a very impressive 80.7 miles per gallon (MPG).
8. Fiat Punto
Fiat’s Punto model attracted over 30,000 more car insurance searches than the Volkswagen Polo to secure 8th place. This is a devastating result for Volkswagen but a triumph for Fiat; vindicating their efforts to improve the styling of their latest models.
However, the average Punto which is currently on the road according to the MoneySupermarket figures is ten years old. This perhaps indicates the vehicle’s popularity with slightly less affluent younger drivers who are keen to take advantage of the cars cheap initial purchase price and the relatively low running costs available to owners.
7. Peugeot 206
The efforts of Fiat to improve their range has still not be enough to help them displace Peugeot from 7th place with the ever popular 206 model which attracted over 50,000 more searches than its Italian rivals offering.
Like with the Punto, the average 206 on the road is ten years old according to the figures; which is again perhaps a sign of its popularity with younger motorists.
This could explain why the Volkswagen Polo is less popular than these offerings; with the model having less of an emphasis on exterior styling and with used versions being more expensive to purchase initially than similar models produced by rival manufacturers.
6. Renault Clio
The Peugeot 206 was launched in 1998 as a response to the popularity of the Renault Clio. However, it never quite managed to displace its compatriots offering according to the MoneySupermarket data; with the Clio attracting a remarkable 160,000 more car insurance searches over the same time period.
The Clio has very similar characteristics to the 206; being cheap to both buy and run. It therefore seems to appeal to a similar group of motorists, with the average Clio on the road being 11 years old.
5. Volkswagen Golf
Like the Honda Civic, the Volkswagen Golf has a sportier high performance image than its more popular competitors the Ford Focus and the Vauxhall Astra.
Once again this seems to be holding the model in good stead despite the rising cost of motoring with their being over 40,000 more searches for the Golf than for the more economical Renault Clio.
However, more surprisingly, the Golf attracted over 280,000 more car insurance searches than its little sister the Volkswagen Polo which offers lower running costs and is also cheaper to buy initially. This is completely the opposite trend which is currently being seen with other car manufacturer’s offerings where the smaller vehicle is proving to be more popular than its less efficient larger alternative.
4. Ford Focus
There was a time when the Ford Focus was the most popular vehicle on the road. However, the rising cost of fuel and insurance has seen slightly larger family sized hatchbacks be overtaken by smaller and more economical alternatives such as the Fiesta.
However, the slightly more worrying observation which can be taken from this data from Ford’s perspective is that there was fewer than 8,000 searches car insurance difference between the traditionally less mainstream Volkswagen Golf and the Focus which used to be the most popular car on the road.
Perhaps a large contributory factor in this is the performance of the mark 2 version of the model launched in 2005 which was widely criticised for its conservative styling. Nevertheless, the company has really hit back with its more fuel friendly mark 3 model which should herald improved sales in the years to come.
3. Vauxhall Astra
It was during the reign of the mark 2 version of the Focus that it lost out to the Vauxhall Astra in terms of popularity; a vehicle for which there were 90,000 more car insurance searches. This is a gap which will no doubt take Ford some time to eat into.
Vauxhall really set new standards in family hatchback design with the very well-constructed mark 5 version of the Astra in 2004; as Ford faltered with the mark 2 version of the Focus launched at the same time. Whether Vauxhall can maintain this lead with the slightly less ground breaking mark 6 version of the Astra launched last year remains to be seen.
2. Ford Fiesta
Like most other car manufacturers, Ford felt the need to respond to the fuel and economic crisis of the 1970s with a new model which was cheaper to buy and run. The result was the Fiesta, which is just as popular today as it was when it was launched 36 years ago.
These original characteristics have been retained and used to good effect, being particularly relevant at a time when fuel and insurance prices continue to escalate. The Fiesta’s record for strong reliability and cheap repair bills can’t be doing any harm either.
1. Vauxhall Corsa
The most popular car in the UK according to the MoneySupermarket figures is the Vauxhall Corsa, which was the only vehicle to attract over one million car insurance searches on the price comparison website.
Like with the Fiesta, the Corsa’s popularity has heightened in these financially difficult times thanks to its cheap purchase and running costs.
It should not go un-noted that the Corsa is also a popular car of choice with younger motorists thanks to the fact that it attracts cheap car insurance premiums. Indeed, the 1 litre ecoFlex Expression version of the model is classified in car insurance group one which means that it will attract some of the cheapest car insurance premiums which are available to its owner.