Have you ever had to double-take when driving, after seeing multiple cars in a row that are all the same make? Some cars seem to be so popular that everyone in town has one – so we decided to find out exactly which makes and models of car are the most popular across the UK.
Using Zuto data, along with Google search volume information, we’ve been able to compile a list of the UK’s favourite cars by gender, age, and location to find out for certain the nation’s models of choice – we’ve also listed the three essential things to know when buying a used car!
The most popular cars by gender
Most popular car choices by age group
Is your car choice down with the kids or likely to be found at a retirement home? It turns out that there isn’t too much variation between the top three makes and models in every age group – that comes when we look deeper into the data when some potentially unexpected models start to creep in.
The top model for the newly initiated drivers out on the streets is the Ford Fiesta, a classic hot hatchback that’s great for showing off to your mates. It was also the most searched for car model overall, with over 300,000 people looking up the model on average, per month.
The next three contenders are the Vauxhall Corsa, Vauxhall Astra, and Volkswagen Golf, continuing the theme of smaller, faster cars that tend be cheaper for first-time drivers. Fiat 500s and Audis each also earn a place at the bottom of the top 10 list, both slightly flashier vehicles that cost more than the typical first-time car!
Those in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties are also keen on a hatchback, with their top three car models being the Vauxhall Astra, Ford Focus, and Ford Fiesta. However, towards the bottom of the top 10 list for this age range, tastes shift to slightly more mature models like the Nissan Qashqai and Audi A3, was our second most-searched-for car with over 245,000 Google searches on average, each month.
The Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, and Ford Fiesta make yet another appearance, this time for the 35-54s, proving that no matter what age you are, a smaller, cheaper make of car will always be appealing! The Vauxhall Zafira, Nissan Juke, and Ford Mondeo appear at numbers 8, 9, and 10 on our list for this age group.
In exactly the same order as the previous age group, the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, and Ford Fiesta appear again in the top 3 for 55-64-year-olds. Tastes tend to lean more towards comfort and convenience, though, as we move down their top 10 cars, with the Ford Mondeo, Nissan Juke, and Range Rover Evoke all featuring.
Once again, the top three cars remain the same for the over 65s, with no change in their order of preference. This group are much more prone to choosing a comfortable driving experience, however, with cars such as The Citroen C4, Nissan Qashqai, and Ford Mondeo all placing in the top ten. The over 65s also appear to choose more stylish models like the Jaguar XF to enjoy in retirement.
Most popular cars by county
We’ve looked at the most popular cars by age and gender, but which models sell quickest in your area? Using our own car sale data, we can reveal the most financed cars across the UK, and those that are most sought out in each county.
Analysing the most popular car by UK location, the Vauxhall Astra is by far the favourite.
According to Zuto data, the Astra is the most financed used car in an incredible 48 UK counties, including London and the South East area, the overwhelming majority of Scotland, the East Midlands, and the complete Yorkshire region.
Due to the popularity of the Astra, however, recent research reveals that the cost of a used model has increased by an astounding 53% since 2021 – from an average of £7,000 to £11,000.
Taking second spot, the reliable Ford Focus is the most financed vehicle in fifteen counties across the UK, including Liverpool and Merseyside, Tyne and Wear and nearby Northumberland, and Scotland’s Inverness-shire and Ross-shire.
Interestingly, in contrast to the South East, the Focus is also the most popular pick in the South West of England, with only drivers in Devon opting for an alternative model.
Used Focuses have also seen dramatic price increases over the last 12 months, with models now costing drivers 50% more than last year.
Next up, we have another Vauxhall, this time the Corsa, which ranks as the third most popular vehicle model by county. Curiously, allegiances in Wales particularly lie with Vauxhall models, with an even split across the country between the Astra and Corsa for most financed second-hand car. Meanwhile, the Corsa also claims the crown as the most financed used car in Essex and Warwickshire.
And, similarly to the Astra and Focus, the Corsa’s popularity has contributed to a significant rise in the cost of used models. Drivers looking for used car finance on a Corsa will now pay 42% more this year than last.
Which cars are most popular across the rest of the UK?
In fourth, another Ford makes the list, with the Fiesta ranking as the most financed used car across three Scottish counties, Edinburgh and the surrounding Midlothian area, Stirlingshire, and West Lothian, while the Honda Civic and Vauxhall Insignia are each the top pick in one county apiece: County Down and County Antrim, respectively.
Three essential things to know when buying a used car
1. Consider your purchase options
When buying a used car, it’s important to consider all of your purchase options. Do you want to buy outright or use car finance and pay affordable monthly instalments?
If you’re not sure whether you want to keep the car after a certain period, you can even take out PCP finance. You’ll only pay the depreciation on your car, and you’ll be given the option at the end of your agreement to either settle the balance or return your car to the dealer.
2. Keep on top of the market
To get the very best price, it’s important to keep an eye on the used car market. This will give you a good idea of when it’s the best time to buy, and which months you can expect prices to rise and fall.
3. Inspect your car carefully
Before buying a used car, make certain that you’re happy with every single detail. Make sure to inspect every external panel and surface, and all internal features. The last thing you want is to notice a series of defects after you’ve already completed the purchase!
Why not tell us over on Twitter if you’ve got one of the UK’s top cars – or let us know if you have something completely different! If you are looking to invest in a new car and don’t know where to start, check out our car finance calculator to find out how much you can afford to borrow.