Written by Stephen Hurrell ▼

Beetle-mania dominates classic car choices

Beetle-mania dominates classic car choices

If you want to buy a car that lasts the distance, buy a Volkswagen Beetle, according to new research that shows there are more Beetles on the road than any other pre-1980s car.

Surviving the UK government's scrappage scheme and remaining roadworthy for over 30 years, the Beetle has been named the undisputed king of the classic cars.

Classic car fans should consider the iconic VW model after it was shown to make up 12.2 per cent of all pre-1980 registered cars in the UK.

However, the number of classic cars registered in the UK is still relatively modest with just 3.4 per cent of the 31 million UK cars built before 1980.

The research, carried out using visitors to the MoneySupermarket.com insurance website, shows the four-cylinder MGB roadster, built by MG Motors, is the second most popular classic car with 7.5 per cent of all pre-1980 cars.

The Austin Mini, the first generation of the iconic Mini range of cars, also makes up 7.5 per cent followed by the Land Rover 88 and the Morris Minor on 5.7 and 5.3 per cent respectively.

The top ten also includes three Triumph models; the Spitfire, the Stag and the Triumph Herald.

However, the Beetle is by far the most popular with UK buyers. In fact, buyers of cars built before 1973 are eligible for free road tax under current criteria.

Once again the Volkswagen Beetle is the most popular pre-1973 car with seven out of every ten registered cars in the UK in the sub-£5,000 price band bearing the Beetle badge.

The Volkswagen Beetle is one of the world's most recognisable cars. First produced in 1938, over 21 million have been produced since, making it the longest-running car of all time.

First designed by Ferdinand Porsche, the Volkswagen Beetle was built in Germany under the orders of Adolf Hitler, who wanted a 'people's car' to be offered to the German people.

More recently, newer generations of the Volkswagen Beetle maintain the same rounded design as the original. However, a much-maligned model launched in the mid-2000s was branded a women's car after Volkswagen installed a vase and flower in the dashboard.

A new 2013 Volkswagen Beetle, available in hatchback and convertible version, is on sale in the UK from £16,490 and includes a more aggressive, road-hugging design. The flower has also been removed for 2013.

Volkswagen is considering a new turbocharged 'R' version of the Beetle to take on the hot hatch segment. The powerful Beetle offers a sporty body kit, all-wheel drive and 256bhp from its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine.

Written by Stephen Hurrell.