Chart hits: UK's most popular cars of the last 50 years
We follow the trends in the UK’s new car market by revealing the most popular cars over five decades
The Ford Fiesta is once again dominating the latest sales figures, but it hasn't always been the most popular car in the UK. To find out what other cars have been successful in the past, we delved into the archives to find out what have been the most popular cars over the last 50 years.
Last year saw a major shift in the UK car industry, with record sales and a growing number of manufacturers producing vehicles on these shores. Superminis and the ever-growing crossover/SUV market are now the best sellers, but back in 1965, the year that the first official car registrations figures were produced, it was the Austin/Morris 1100 that proved to be the UK's favourite car.
Ford's reign at the top began in 1975, when the Cortina took control, and the company has remained at the summit ever since as the Escort was the most popular car in 1985 and 1995 with its replacement the Ford Focus enjoying top spot in 2005.
The figures, gathered with the help of BestSellingCarsBlog, provide a fascinating look into the UK's car buying habits and reveal a 50-year period of enormous change.
So, to find out what other cars have made the top 10 list of the UK's most popular cars check out our detailed review of every decade by clicking the links on the top left menu or below.
Top sellers each decade from the past 50 years
- • 1965 - Austin/Morris 1100
- • 1975 - Ford Cortina
- • 1985 - Ford Escort
- • 1995 - Ford Escort
- • 2005 - Ford Focus
- • 2015 - Ford Fiesta
Have you owned any of the UK's top selling cars? Let us know in the comments below...
- 1Introduction - currently readingWe follow the trends in the UK’s new car market by revealing the most popular cars over five decades
- 21965The Austin/Morris 1100 was the best-selling car of 1965 with almost 160,000 registrations
- 31975The Ford Cortina edged out the Ford Escort to top the list of best-selling cars in 1975
- 41985The Ford Escort was the best-selling car in 1985, with the Vauxhall Cavalier in second
- 51995Ford dominated the best-selling cars list in 1995, with the Escort, Fiesta and Mondeo taking the top three spots
- 62005The Ford Focus was once again the top-selling car in 2005, with 15,000 more registrations than the Vauxhall Astra
- 72015The Ford Fiesta was easily the best-selling car in 2015, with over 130,000 registrations