We all like to think of ourselves as individuals, but the choices we make could follow consumer trends more than we realise, particularly when it comes to car ownership. With almost 32 million cars on the UK’s roads, is there such a thing as a ‘typical’ car owner, and if so, do you fit that profile?
Whether you dream of owning an Aston Martin, have your sights set on a Smart Car or prefer the sleek lines and green credentials of the new BMW i8, your tastes could be more typical than you think.
We take a look at some of the trends dominating the market to find out what a typical UK car owner looks like in 2015.
The annual survey carried out by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) covered 31,917,885 cars across the country this year, and revealed some interesting statistics. Last year, the number of cars on the UK’s roads reached an all-time high as fewer cars were scrapped and more cars were bought.
It seems the age of our cars is on the rise too, increasing by a full year to 7.7 years old – our cars are becoming more reliable than ever before and longer vehicle warranties and service packages have made owning an older car more economical.
You might be surprised to hear that British-built models have become increasingly popular amongst car owners in the UK, with 20% of all cars on the road built in Britain. In fact, only German-built models command a larger share of the market.
Following the pack
It turns out that if you own a Ford Focus, you might not be as much of an individual as you think! There may be over 1,453 different models of car on the roads in Britain, but the most popular models remains the Ford Focus, with almost 1.5 million owners.
The Ford Fiesta takes second place, with Vauxhall’s Corsa and Astra following closely behind and the Volkswagen Golf securing its place as the 5th most popular car in the UK. Renault Clio, Renault Megane and the Peugeot 206 also secured places in the top 10, demonstrating the rising demand for reliable, affordable vehicles which are fuel-efficient and well-equipped with the latest gadgets and design features.
Shades of grey
It’s not just about the model though – what colour of car do you drive? They say you’re more likely to be involved in an accident if you drive a red car (we’re still undecided as to whether that’s true), but overall it seems like we are making the move to a monochromatic colour palette in the UK.
Ownership of blue cars has dropped by 2.7% whilst red car ownership has also fallen 0.5% this year.
Overall, it seems that we’re opting for black and grey cars rather than brighter hues, with silver coming out on top as the most popular colour for cars in the UK and accounting for 24.9% of all cars on the road. Blue comes in a close second, accounting for 20.3% of all cars we drive, whilst only 10.9% of cars driven in the UK are red.
A growing trend
One thing we’re all beginning to care more about is the impact our vehicles have on the planet, and with the new breed of pure electric and hybrid vehicles becoming increasingly popular, CO2 emissions have dropped by 7.3% over the last five years, with the biggest improvements seen in Scotland (a drop of 8.8% since 2009). No doubt this trend is set to continue as more of us switch to cars with lower emissions or opt for electric or hybrid vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, the UK’s most popular electric car to date.
Car ownership trends can be defined by the area you live in, your age, your income and a whole host of other factors, but these country-wide trends reveal what ‘typical’ car ownership in the UK really looks like in 2015 – of course, the picture this time next year could be very different!