Motoring help & advice Ford models top britain's best-loved first cars of all time

Motoring help & advice Ford models top britain's best-loved first cars of all time

Aviva reveals mum and dad are more likely than ever to fund and insure their child's first car

Ford favourites are revealed as the most popular first cars of all time in a newly published league table by the UK's largest insurer, Aviva 1.

The Ford Escort and Fiesta top the list, with the iconic Anglia, famously seen flying through the air in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, taking third spot. The Anglia, a British classic, was also the most popular car for first-time owners in the 1960s.

Ford models top britain's best-loved first cars of all time
View the infographic

Top 10 most popular first cars of all time - Make/model (of all time)

Ford Escort
Ford Fiesta
Ford Anglia
Vauxhall Corsa
Nissan Micra
Vauxhall Viva
Morris Minor
Volkswagen Golf
Renault Clio
Mini Cooper


However, Aviva research found that over the last 50 years there has been a fundamental change in who pays for that first car and at what age drivers buy it.

Today there is an increased reliance on parents to support the initial outlay and cost of running a first car. In the 1960s, eight in 10 (80%) first-time car owners funded the
purchase themselves. Fast forward to the 2010s and a third (33%) of first cars are now paid for by someone else, most likely by mum and dad or other family members.

Alongside the general increase in cost of living over the years, the case is similar when it comes to insuring first cars. Today, one in five (21%) first car owners now has their own insurance paid for by someone else, compared with just one in 20 (6%) in the 1960s.

Changing face of the typical first car owner

The typical first car owner has changed dramatically over the past 50 years:

In 2012, the average age of a first car owner is 25 compared to only 21 in the 1960s
A quarter (23%) of today’s first car owners is living with a partner or married by the time they get a run-around of their own. This has risen sharply from just 9% in the 1960s
First car owners are now more likely to be studying full time at college or university (37%), compared to the 1960s when four in five (84%) were working full time and only 13% were in education
First cars in the 2010s are more than three times as likely to be new (26%) than in the 1960s (8%) when 92% of first cars were second-hand.
Commenting on the research, Heather Smith, director of marketing at Aviva said: "Owning a first car is a fantastic milestone of independence and whether it's a much-loved treasure or a shiny new set of wheels it provides an important rite of passage for any driver.

"Over the past five decades, we have seen a fundamental shift in the typical first car owner. However, despite these changes the nation's love for affordable classics, from Corsas to Golfs, Ford has stayed at the forefront in the history of the first car and feature as firm favourites across Britain's driveways."

Parents could save up to 1/3 off with Aviva MultiCar insurance when adding their child's car to their policy, even for a student living away during term time. Visit www.aviva.co.uk/multicar-insurance/ for more information.

Top five first car makes and models for each decade

DecadeMake/model

1960s

  1. Ford Anglia
  2. Ford Popular
  3. Morris Minor
  4. Volkswagen Beetle
  5. Ford Cortina

1970s

  1. Ford Escort
  2. Ford Cortina
  3. Ford Anglia
  4. Vauxhall Viva
  5. Morris Minor

1970s

  1. Ford Escort
  2. Ford Fiesta
  3. Mini Cooper Clubman
  4. Vauxhall Viva
  5. Ford Cortina

1990s

  1. Ford Fiesta
  2. Ford Escort
  3. Nissan Micra
  4. Volkswagen Golf
  5. MG Metro

2000s

  1. Ford Fiesta
  2. Vauxhall Corsa
  3. Renault Clio
  4. Nissan Micra
  5. Vauxhall Astra

2010s

  1. Vauxhall Corsa
  2. Ford Fiesta
  3. Nissan Almera
  4. Ford Focus
  5. Volkswagen Golf


1 Aviva commissioned the First Car Research with Populus who interviewed 2,054 UK adults online between 6 and 8 July. At some point, 1,702 owned a car. Results have been weighted to be representative of all UK adults.

2 We expect 20% of customers to achieve the maximum saving of a third off. This discount will apply to the cheaper of the two vehicle insurance premiums. Both vehicles must be registered at the same address. Discount does not apply to optional extras. Minimum premium applies. If you already have more than one car insured with us, you can transfer to our MultiCar policy when one of your cars comes up for renewal. However, as you may already be benefiting from a loyalty discount it may be cheaper to continue insuring them on separate policies, so please call us at renewal to discuss the best option for you.

Back to top