New research has shown that Volkswagen, Vauxhall and Ford continue to be among the most sought-after car brands with motorists in Northern Ireland.
For the third consecutive year, Volkswagen topped the charts, helped along by the launch of new versions of its big-selling Golf hatchback and Polo supermini, which has recently been facelifted.
Vauxhall’s sales remained strong thanks to the Corsa, Astra and larger Insignia, while the Fiesta and Focus were – unsurprisingly – the key breadwinners for Ford.
Yet despite the strength of their respective model line-ups, Vauxhall and Ford both lost a place to Audi; for the first time, the German manufacturer has moved up two places to second in Northern Ireland’s Top 10 car list.
After making fourth spot its own for all of 2019 and 2020, the spike in interest for its cars elevated it up the table during the COVID pandemic meaning Northern Ireland is the only region in the UK to feature the German marque in the top three.
BMW also moved up from sixth to fifth position throughout the pandemic and, for the first time in three years, Mercedes-Benz entered the Top 10 list in 2021 at number eight.
According to data from CompareNI.com, purchasing a car was the number one reason why people borrowed money, with this helping to top up the cash they had saved by not going on holiday as they normally would have done because of global travel restrictions.
Greg Wilson, the Founder of CompareNI.com, said: “The pandemic has given some drivers in Northern Ireland the opportunity to trade in their motor for the luxury car they’ve always wanted, what with working from home keeping mileage to a minimum, and reducing the need for inner city parking which can be both risky and expensive.
“In a year without foreign holidays and weekends away, it perhaps makes sense that people took the opportunity to upgrade their vehicles,” he added.
Each UK region has its own preference and variations when it comes to car buying; whereas Wales has Ford at number one, Scotland leads with Vauxhall and Northern Ireland has opted for Volkswagen.