The Vauxhall Corsa is the most popular car with British motorists according to research by car insurance comparison website MoneySupermarket; beating its long running rival Ford with their Fiesta model which came in 2nd. MoneySupermarket has calculated this by looking at the number of car insurance searches which have been completed over the past year on each model of car available in the UK, giving an accurate representation of the most popular models with British drivers. This signals a major victory for Vauxhall and potentially also indicates the changing preference of motorists in recent years, who are increasingly opting for smaller vehicles due to the fact that they are often cheaper to insure and fuel.
Ford and Vauxhall absolutely dominated the list, with their vehicles occupying the top four positions. Interestingly not only is Vauxhall beating Ford on the small car stakes, with the Corsa attracting over 150,000 more searches than the Fiesta; but Vauxhall’s Astra model also beat the Ford Focus to 3rd place on the list, attracting 90,000 more searches. This proves the enduring popularity of these brands and is perhaps indicative of the brand loyalty of British consumers who are not willing to take a risk on vehicles produced by other manufacturers.
Perhaps one of surprising failures on this list is Japanese manufacturers. Honda is the most successful Japanese manufacturer according to the statistics, with the Civic just managing to sneak into the top 10 with 402,000 searches. However, despite Toyota being the best-selling car manufacturer worldwide, they have failed to get a single model into the top 10 in the UK; with the most popular Toyota vehicle being the Yaris which came in on 22nd with just 185,000 searches- about 900,000 less than the Corsa.
The fact the Yaris is the most popular Toyota model fits in with the trend found for other manufacturers whose small hatchbacks were generally ahead of their larger family sized alternatives. This is potentially a result of rising fuel prices, which has forced 65% of motorists to consider purchasing more fuel efficient vehicles according to a separate piece of research by MoneySupermarket. The impact of insurance prices should also be considered, with the average motorist now paying £921 per year for cover on the back of the credit crunch and a rise in the number of fraudulent claims being made. This also links to the increasing popularity of smaller vehicles which are traditionally cheaper to insure thanks to the lower performance potential.
Popular with young drivers
Indeed, this last point about smaller vehicles being cheaper to insure could be particularly significant. The average age of Corsa which was searched for on MoneySupermarket was ten years olds, perhaps indicating the cars popularity with younger and less affluent motorists. It would make sense for motorists in this bracket to opt for vehicles which are cheaper to insure as they tend to be the group that are most discriminated against by insurers due to them being statistically more likely to be involved in accidents and make a claim. According to the latest figures, the average driver between the ages of 17 and 22 normally pays £2,431 per year for cover.
Can the Corsa maintain its lead?
New versions of both the Corsa and the Fiesta have been launched over the past couple of years, and both have been met with generally positive reviews. However, it is the Fiesta which claimed the title of best-selling car of 2011 with its much improved styling, which has been achieved without compromising either reliability or performance. This should ensure that it will likely prove to be a much stronger challenger to the Corsa in the future. Nevertheless, given the average age of vehicles in the UK- the effect of the new model is likely to take some years to filter through.
Additionally, Ford has put a lot of effort into the fuel efficiency of its latest engines with its ECOnetic diesel Fiesta achieving an average fuel consumption figure of 78.5 mpg. It is also environmentally friendly; producing just 95g/km of C02 which means that it is exempt from road tax charges. This should become an increasingly important selling point over the next couple of years with it expected that fuel prices will continue to increase.