UK’s Most Desirable Car for New Drivers is Ford Fiesta, Data Reveals

The Ford Fiesta has been crowned the most popular car model amongst first-time drivers in the UK, with an overall desirability score of 9.54 out of 10. 

That’s according to a new index study by, which considers the number of registrations for each car model in the UK in 20201 together with their respective annual UK search volumes amongst new drivers2.

In first place as the most desirable first-time car is the Ford Fiesta, scoring an overall desirability score of 9.54 out of 10. Receiving top marks across the board, the Ford Fiesta totals an impressive combination of 1,320 average annual searches by first time drivers in the UK and 49,058 registrations in the country in 2020 alone.

Fiat 500 and Renault Clio rank joint second with a desirability score of 7.27 out of 10. Despite receiving 10% fewer online searches by first time drivers than the Fiat 500, the Renault Clio saw 57% more vehicle registrations in the UK than the popular Fiat model – 42,540 registrations in 2020, compared to the Fiat 500’s 24,335 registrations.

The Results

Rank Car Model UK search vol. No. of Registrations Desirability index score
1 Ford Fiesta 1,320 49,058 9.54
2 Fiat 500
Renault Clio




3 Dacia Sandero 840 9,457 7.05
4 Volkswagen Golf
SEAT Ibiza




5 Volkswagen Polo 120 25,895 5.45
6 Toyota Yaris 120 20,945 5.23
7 Toyota Aygo 120 16,830 5.00
8 Peugeot 208 120 13,571 4.54
9 Vauxhall Corsa 480 4 4.32
10 Honda Jazz 120 10,776 4.09

Following in third is the Dacia Sandero, which finishes with an overall score of 7.05 out of 10. The model is popular amongst newly licensed drivers with its all-rounder capabilities. With 9,457 new registrations in 2020 and 840 annual searches by first time drivers in the UK, the Sandero is truly an all-rounder in every way.

In joint fourth with a score of 5.68/10 is the Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Ibiza. Despite ranking second in registrations (41,134), the Volkswagen Golf garners only 14.3% of the average search volumes in the UK (120) compared to the SEAT Ibiza (840).

Honda Jazz ranks tenth

Finishing off the top ten is the Honda Jazz with a desirability score of 4.09 out of 10. Totalling an impressive 10,776 registrations in the UK, the reliable Jazz continues to be a top choice for first-time drivers in the UK ranking ninth overall when it comes to the number of registrations.

Founder of, Greg Wilson comments:

“First cars are a really important purchase, young drivers spend hours searching for their first love of the roads, the right make and model they will never forget.

“This can be tricky for first-time drivers; they are often viewed as riskier by insurers because their relative lack of experience behind the wheel translates into higher accident rates and insurance claims rates on average. Of course, there are many first-time drivers that are very safe drivers, but because they’re new drivers the lack of data that insurers have about their driving history means their premiums can be high until they’ve clocked up a year or two of no claims.

“To help keep costs down, these new motorists should consider searching for vehicles with a smaller engine size with less or no modifications. It also helps to shop around by using a comparison website, can increase the odds of finding cheaper insurance by enabling drivers to compare a wide range of policies side by side.”


  1. sought to determine the most desirable cars for first-time drivers in the UK.
  2. A seed list of the most popular cars amongst first-time drivers was determined by in-house quality metrics sourcing multiple online articles such as Car Magazine, Auto-moto, CarWow, and
  3. The online analytics tool SEMrush was used to uncover the estimated monthly searches of the make and model of each car contained within the sample made in the UK.
    1. The searches were conducted with the following terms: ‘”[car model]” + first car’ and “[car brand]” + first car”’.
  4. The annual searches were then obtained by multiplying monthly UK search figures by twelve.
  5. Next, the number of registrations for each car model completed in the UK 2020 was collected via European Environment Agency’s dataset “CO2 emissions from new passenger cars”
  6. To accurately aggregate both search volume and registration results, the AVG. PERCENTRANK function was used to determine a weighted index score for each car model.
    1. The Fiat 500e was excluded from this study due to inaccurate search results displayed.
  7. Finally, the weighted overall index scores for each car model were ranked in descending order to reveal the most desirable car model among first-time drivers.
  8. Data was collected on 03/02/2022 and is subject to change.




Image: Ford Fiesta ST Line at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Photo by Tim Bishop.


  • Launched in 2005, has grown to become one of the UK’s leading insurance comparison platforms. An early pioneer of price comparison systems, the platform continues to use proprietary comparison technology to help millions of people find better deals on their insurance each year.
  •’s parent company, Seopa, was founded by the Northern Irish entrepreneur, Greg Wilson, in 2003.
  • From its headquarters in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Greg Wilson, CEO, and Ian Wilson, Managing Director, have grown the company to more than 50 team members spread across two European offices.
  • The company has been recognised with six Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Awards, and has been awarded a Deloitte Best Managed Company Award each year for the past five years – now a Gold Standard Best Managed Company since 2020.