UK based price comparison company MoneySupermarket.com has published a list of the ten most popular cars with motorists in Britain. This is based on the number of car insurance searches which have been conducted for every different make of vehicle on their website.
A general trend which is in evidence on the list is the increasing popularity of smaller vehicles. This is being blamed on the rising cost of motoring by MoneySupermarket car insurance expert Peter Harrison, who states that the more fuel efficient nature of such models and the fact that they attract cheaper car insurance costs is the reason behind their increased popularity.
It is also surprising to note that Japanese vehicles do not appear to be very popular with UK motorist. This is despite the fact that Toyota is currently the best selling car manufacturer worldwide.
10. Honda Civic
In fact, the world’s no.1 manufacturer couldn’t even make it into the top ten with any of their vehicle fleet; with the top Toyota being the Yaris which came in a spectacularly disappoint 22nd position.
Meanwhile, Toyota’s big rival Honda managed to creep into the top ten with its very popular Civic model for which there were over 400,000 car insurance searches on MoneySupermarket.com last year.
9. Volkswagen Polo
The Polo was initially introduced as a response to the oil crisis in the 1970s which saw motorists scrambling to find vehicles with good fuel efficiency (sound familiar?). You would therefore expect this feature to have stood it in good stead this time around.
However, a number of manufacturers have subsequently introduced vehicles with much better economy for a far cheaper price. The Polo has therefore only attracted 437,000 car insurance searches.
Volkswagen is attempting to revive the Polo brand with its latest Bluemotion model which has remarkable fuel economy, being capable of 74.3 mpg, yet only costs £12,120 from new. This is likely to be a very big seller in the coming years as fuel prices continue to spiral out of control.
8. Fiat Punto
To further rub salt into Volkswagen’s wounds; Fiat’s Punto beat the Polo to 8th place by over 30,000 car insurance searches. This is a big win for Fiat, given that the Punto is a direct competitor of the Polo in the small car market.
A big factor in this is likely to be the Punto’s cheaper initial purchase cost of £8,970. This is despite its questionable reliability record relative to the Volkswagen.
7. Peugeot 206
Peugeot’s 206 model has managed to get well ahead of the Punto and the Polo in their battle over 8th position with over 518,000 car insurance searches conducted in 2010.
However, this position will not be maintained in the coming years with Peugeot having ceased production of the 206 in 2010. This is being superseded by the 207 which is 44th on the popularity list despite having only been available for five years. The 207 is therefore likely to feature in the top ten in the coming years.
6. Renault Clio
Peugeot’s 206 was initially launched as a response to the developing popularity of the Renault Clio during the 1990s which was quickly developing a reputation as a bit of style icon within the car world.
Despite Peugeot’s best efforts, they have failed to displace the Clio; for which 160,000 more car insurance searches were conducted on the MoneySupermarket.com site. This has been achieved despite Renault being rated as one of the least reliable car manufacturers in a WhatCar? survey.
5. Volkswagen Golf
Despite the general trend for smaller vehicles to be more popular than their bigger sisters; the Golf attracted almost 300,000 more car insurance searches than the Polo to rank in 5th place.
This is surprising given the general popularity of smaller vehicles; with the Golf’s sportier reputation not appearing to hamper its popularity with motorists.
4. Ford Focus
The Focus has grown accustomed to being in 1st place on such listings since it was first launched in 1999. However, the increasing preference of motorists for smaller vehicles and the criticism Ford has had for the conservative styling employed with the mark two version of the Focus launched in 2004, has resulted in the model dropping to 4th place.
However, the mark three Focus launched last year has received critical acclaim from motoring journalists and initial uptake has been impressive. This along with the models much improved fuel economy could see it challenge strongly to regain its 1st position in the coming years.
3. Vauxhall Astra
While the mark two Focus began the decline in the models fortunes; the mark five version of the Astra launched in the same year reinvigorated demand for a model which was first launched as a replacement to the Vauxhall Viva twenty-four years earlier.
Fuel economy on the new model launched this year is still marginally better than for the Focus (3 mpg), but Ford has caught up on the styling stakes. It will be interesting to see whether or not Vauxhall can maintain its position ahead of Ford’s flagship model.
2. Ford Fiesta
Over 100,000 more car insurance searches were conducted for the 2nd place Fiesta than for the 3rd place Astra. This indicates both the increasing popularity of smaller vehicles and the enduring popularity of a model which was first launched in 1976.
The average Fiesta searched for on the MoneySupermarket.com website was ten years old. This therefore perhaps demonstrates the popularity of the model with younger motorist who are attracted to the model the cheap initial purchase price, good fuel economy and cheap insurance prices.
1. Vauxhall Corsa
The Corsa is another smaller vehicle which is proving popular with younger motorists; being the only car in the UK to attract over one million car insurance searches last year on the price comparison website.
Corsa is aiming to maintain its position at the top of the list in the coming years by focusing on more fuel friendly options such as the Corsa EcoFLEX which is capable of 76.3 mpg in diesel form and but is handicapped by the £13,255 selling price from new. This is roughly similar to the specifications and price of the Ford Fiesta Econetic, but not quite as impressive or cheap as Volkswagen’s Polo Bluemotion.
However, with a lead of almost 200,000 searches over the Fiesta; it is going to take Ford some time to eat into Vauxhall’s lead.
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