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Fiesta tops car history timeline

Ford’s bestseller is an almost constant feature as Brits reveal the cars they will buy in their lifetime.

The study for car finance experts Zuto found that at all stages of our life – from the moment we pass our test to when we hit retirement – the Ford Fiesta remains a popular choice.

On average, British motorists own around 11 different cars during their lifetime and we buy our first car at the age of 23 – usually a Ford Fiesta, KA or Vauxhall Corsa worth around £1,574.

As we approach 28, we buy our second car – most likely to be another Ford Fiesta or Ford Focus worth around £2,107.

While 43% had to buy a new car as their old one no longer ran or was going to cost too much to fix, 16% wanted to upgrade as they had more money to spend.

But at the age of 32, after settling down, the average Brit purchases their first family car – a Ford Focus or Fiesta worth £7,997.

Vauxhalls are also a popular choice when looking for a family car with the Astra, Zafira and Corsa in the top five.

After making do with an average of three second hand cars, the average Brit is in a position to buy their first new car at the age of 34.

The Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Focus are still the most popular choice, along with the Vauxhall Astra and Ford KA, with an average value of £11,548.

Tempting car finance 

It also emerged that while 28% bought a brand new car because they had more money and were able to afford it, 17% just wanted a nicer, newer car. One in 10 also admitted the finance options made a new car an affordable option.

After raising their family, Brits ditch the child-friendly car to finally buy their dream car at the age of 42 – most likely a Mercedes Benz, A BMW 3 series or a MINI worth £14,627.

Finally, at the age of 54, we start looking forward to our retirement, buying a car such as Ford Fiesta or Toyota Yaris.

The study also found the average Brit will buy a new car every five-and-half years, with recent figures from the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) revealing that eight out of 10 cars are bought using finance.

“For most of us buying a car isn’t about making an extravagant purchase, it’s a necessity to get through day-to-day life,” said James Wilkinson of Zuto.

“But it’s interesting to see from the research that we are buying cars based on economical decisions at nearly all stages of our lives.”


Aged 23 – First car worth – £1,574.16
Top five first cars
1. Ford Fiesta
2. Vauxhall Corsa
3. Ford KA
4. Nissan Micra
5. Renault Clio

Aged 28 – second car worth £2,107
Top five second cars
1. Ford Fiesta
2. Ford Focus
3. Vauxhall Corsa
4. Reanult Clio
5. Volkswagen Golf

Aged 32 – Family car worth £7,997
Top five family cars
1. Ford Focus
2. Ford Fiesta
3. Vauxhall Astra
4. Vauxhall Zafria
5. Vauxhall Corsa

Aged 34 – first new car worth £11,548
Top five new cars
1. Ford Fiesta
2. Vauxhall Corsa
3. Ford Focus
4. Vauxhall Astra
5. Ford Ka

Aged 42 – dream car worth £14,627
Top five dream cars
1. Mercedes-Benz
2. BMW 3 Series
3. Mini
4. Mazda MX5
5. Audi TT

Aged 56 – Retirement car
Top retirement cars
1. Ford Fiesta
2. Toyota Yaris
3. Volkswagen Polo
4. Vauxhall Corsa
5. Nissan Micra

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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