Buying a car is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make after buying a house, and it pays to research the right car just as thoroughly.
With so many car types and brands around, you may be left scratching your head and wondering ‘what type of car should I buy?’.
One way to help make this decision is to look at what car is the most popular.
A Symbol of 60’s Freedom
If you were to keep up with the Joneses, you may find that the most popular car to buy could soon be something our adolescent selves only dreamed of.
From its humble beginnings as a simple, motorised home, to its transformation into an iconic image of the 1960’s counterculture and hippie lifestyle, the campervan has been a beacon of nomadic life for generations.
According to Roy Morgan research, campervans reported the largest growth rate of any vehicle type, increasing by 4.5 per cent from 2016 to 2017.
This growth can be attributed to the re-popularisation and highly-instagrammed resurgence of the campervan as an affordable way to live and travel.
In 2016, an article from Vice claimed that “living out of a van is the new American Dream”.
“I think that vandwelling [living out of vans, cars, or motorhomes, as a lifestyle] is becoming popular now due to its practicality and its lure of adventure,” said Zach Frost, a 27-year-old former vandweller.
“Many people my age are drowning in student debt, unable to find a job, and don’t necessarily want to live with their parents.
Living in a van is exciting, allows for mobility, and doesn’t cost terribly much. Plus, being able to live and work remotely anywhere on the globe is making vandwelling seem very attractive,” said Mr Frost.
Australia’s most popular car
In 2016, the Toyota HiLux took out the Australian sales crown, becoming the most popular car to buy that year. Clearly Australia’s love affair with utes is still holding strong.
If your car daydreams are a little more grounded than a campervan, you will be happy to know that passenger vehicles (like the HiLux) account for 75.0 per cent of the national fleet. However, this is down 0.1 percentage points from 2016 to 2017.
After campervans, the vehicle type that has seen the most growth is light rigid trucks, followed by light commercial vehicles.
What you should consider before buying a car
There are a multitude of car options that suit urban and rural areas, big families and people who still haven’t quite mastered parallel parking.
Roy Morgan research into motor vehicle usage in Australia found that there are 18.8 million registered motor vehicles as at 31 January 2017.
Each car would have unique benefits to its drivers, so it’s important to identify which features suit your needs.