The most requested car on themoneysupermarket.com was Vauxhall’s supermini, which was updated in 2011 with a new front end and some new, more vibrant exterior colours.
The success of the Vauxhall Corsa, says the website, was because of the small engine sizes, low running costs and modern styling.
Peter Harrison, car insurance expert at moneysupermarket.com, said: “We’ve seen rising fuel prices and escalating car insurance premiums over the past year, so it’s no surprise motorists are taking steps to combat these costs; age, engine size and make or model of car all have an impact on the cost of insurance premiums, and fuel consumption too."
Models such as the efficient ECOflex Corsa deliver CO2 emissions below 100g/km, resulting in zero road tax in the UK and exemption from the London Congestion Charge.
The penchant for small cars in 2010 was evident in the top ten most popular models. The Corsa’s biggest rival, the Ford Fiesta, was second in the list.
Vauxhall’s popularity with UK buyers was highlighted by the appearance of the Vauxhall Astra in third place, closely followed by its key rival, the Ford Focus.
Other small cars in the top ten include the Renault Clio, Peugeot 206 and Fiat Punto, while the Ford Ka, Renault Megane and Peugeot 106 just miss out on a top ten berth.
The moneysupermarket.com estimates the average car in the UK in 2010 featured a modest 1.6-litre engine and is ten years old.
The figures match those of the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders, which found the same top four vehicles for sales in 2010, albeit with the Ford Focus as the most popular car.