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FIRST LOVES – The most popular first cars revealed


Aug 10, 2022 #First Cars, #Motoring

Do you remember your first car? Of course you do. First cars, much like our first loves, hold a special place in our hearts.  Even if you learn later on how terrible it was, a first car will always be a fond memory that reminds you of a simpler time when you were granted more freedom than you’d ever had before.

Heritage Car Insurance has conducted a survey of 2000 UK car owners to discover the nation’s favourite first cars, covering makes and models, colours and even nicknames. Spoiler alert – someone named their car ‘Angel’ with the reasoning “please be an angel and start”!

The majority of people (80%) bought a used car as their first ever vehicle, with 55-64 year olds the most likely to say this (90%). Out of all the age groups, Gen Z and Millennials are less likely to have purchased a used car for their first car.


The most common first cars were:

  • Ford Fiesta – 9%
  • Ford Escort – 6%
  • Vauxhall Corsa – 3%
  • Ford Ka – 2%
  • Volkswagen Polo – 2%
  • Renault Clio – 2%
  • Nissan Micra – 2%
  • Vauxhall Astra – 2%
  • BMW 3 series – 2%
  • Mini Clubman – 2%

“It’s fascinating to see which first cars are still popular today, and it’s no surprise to see Ford at the top of the list – they’ve stood the test of time. Escorts especially have had a surge in popularity now as classics, and you’ll find some pristine examples in collections today”, said Andy McDonald, Underwriting Manager at Heritage Car Insurance.

“Other first cars that are on the classic roster are the early Mini, both Austin and Rover – with massive popularity when new, and styling that has appealed across generations. The Clubman, which many think of now as a BMW-manufactured car, was originally the 1970s re-imagining of the Mini, and in our survey most people who had a Clubman as their first car are 55 or older.



Ford was by far the most popular with almost 1 in 4 (23%) choosing it as their first car. Out of all the Fords: the majority were Fiesta, followed by Escort, Cortina, Capri and Focus.

It was a near equal split between genders with 24% of males and 21% of females saying they had Ford as their first car.

Yorkshire was the region most likely to have a Ford as their first car, with almost 1 in 3 (30%) people saying they had one.

Ford was the least popular in London, with only 10% of Londoners saying they had one as their first car.


Vauxhall is the second-most popular make of first car with 9% of Brits saying they had one. 35-44 year olds were the most likely to say they had a Vauxhaull as their first car, at a rate of 11%.

The make was also the most common first car in the West Midlands with 13% of respondents saying they had one.


Interestingly, Austin is the third most popular brand for a first car, with 6% of Brits saying they had one. However, Heritage found 55-64-year olds and over 65s the age groups most likely to have this now considered classic car make.

Austins saw the highest frequency as first cars in the North West and South East, with almost one in ten respondents (8%) in each area saying their first car was an Austin.


Minis seem to be a fan favourite for the 55-64s, with 12% of this age range saying they had this as their first car. Overall, 5% of respondents said they had a Mini as their first car, with the North West being the region where people were most likely to have a Mini as their first car (9%).


5% of Brits said they had a Fiat as their first car, with 18-24-year olds and 45-54-year-olds being the most likely age groups at 7% each.

The regions most likely to say they had a Fiat as their first car were the North West, West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber, all equal at 8%.



Interestingly, BMW was the most popular first car among the 18-24s, with 14% choosing it as their first car. Overall, 5% of Brits said they had a BMW as their first vehicle.

Similarly, Londoners was the most likely to say they had a BMW as their first car, at 14%.


Volkswagen was the first car for 5% of people. It was most prevalent in the 18-24s at 7%, and it saw its highest popularity as a first car in Northern Ireland, where 11% of respondents have previously owned one.


Audi is most common for both 18-24s and 25-34s, at 8% each. Overall, 4% of Brits chose it as a first car. Similar to BMW, this brand enjoyed a higher frequency in London at 11%.



Peugeot was equally the most common for 25-34s and 35-44s, at 6%. It was the first car for 4% of people overall and was most prevalent in the South East, with 7% of respondents choosing it.


Toyota was the first car for 3% of the respondents and was most prevalent for 25-34s at 8%. The highest frequency was in Yorkshire and the Humber where 7% of people had it as a first car.

By admin