Happy Drivers Index

Happy Drivers Index


There are many reasons why motorists choose certain cars, whether that be down to the make, interior or sound system. 

For those who have just completed their driving lessons at their chosen driving school, you might need a car that’s cheap to run and repair. Or perhaps you have a family and need something with a large boot, five doors and lots of space. Whatever your needs are, it’s important to do your research when it comes to purchasing a new car.

Thousands of motorists look for a new car every year, but out of all of the cars sold in the UK, which models make drivers the happiest?

We’ve taken a look at the most popular car models from 2022 and analysed reviews from numerous websites to determine which are pleasing their owners the most.

The BMW 3 and 5 Series are making motorists the happiest, with a review score of 4.7/5

1. BMW 3 Series 

  • Average review score – 4.7
  • Honest John review score – 5
  • Parkers review score – 4.4
  • Auto Trader review score – 4.7

In first place is the BMW 3 Series, with an average review score of 4.7 across all three sites. The model is very popular amongst company-car drivers, particularly those who prefer the fuel efficiency of a saloon car, over an SUV.

The BMW 3 Series receives a 5/5 rating for safety on the Auto Trader website, due to its various driver assistance systems. For example, the car will brake itself if the driver fails to respond to pedestrians, cyclists or other obstacles obstructing its path.

2. BMW 5 Series

  • Average review score – 4.7
  • Honest John review score – 5
  • Parkers review score – 4.6
  • Auto Trader review score – 4.5

Also in first place is the BMW 5 Series, which receives an average review score of 4.7 as well. Parkers have praised the model on their site for its levels of comfort, including the supportive seats and amount of space upfront. 

The BMW 5 Series is also a fabulous all-rounder, as it’s great for travelling both long and short distances. All models also come with park assist and a rear-view camera to make parking that little bit easier.

    3. Skoda Octavia

  • Average review score – 4.6
  • Honest John review score – 5
  • Parkers review score – 4.4
  • Auto Trader review score – 4.4

In third place is the Skoda Octavia, which receives an average review score of 4.6. The car, which scores highly across all fields on the Honest John website, is great for those with families as it features a large boot space and wide-opening rear doors, making it easy to get both car seats and children in and out.

All Skoda Octavia models also come with additional features such as hill start assist, cruise control with speed limiter, tyre pressure monitoring and Isofix on the front passenger seat and outer rear seats.

5 Tips for Choosing Your First Car 

Buying your first car can be an exciting experience, as it provides you with more freedom and responsibility. However, it can be a daunting experience for some, as it is a big purchase and there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. We’ve pulled together our top five tips for you to think about when purchasing your first car.

1. Should I buy a new or used car?

When it comes to buying your first car, everyone’s preferences are different. Some people may want a new car that they can keep for the long haul, but others might want something cheap and cheerful that will get them by for a few years whilst they save for their dream car. This decision is totally down to each individual’s preference, however, it’s important to note that you will have a lot more options available to you if you go for a used car, meaning that you’re more likely to find the right car for the right price.

2. Should I buy through a car dealership or a private seller?

There are various things to consider when you’re deciding between purchasing your car through a dealership or a private seller. For example, you’ll often get a car for a slightly cheaper price when buying through a private seller, due to there being no extra company overheads being factored into the price. You may also be more likely to strike up a deal with a private seller, as they may potentially want a quick sale. However, when buying through a car dealership, you have more protection from the law. For example, if something goes wrong with your car, you have somewhere to turn to and may even receive extras, such as breakdown cover.

3. Do your research before you commit

Before you fully commit to purchasing a car, it’s important to conduct some research. For example, if you’re purchasing a used car, you should look into the car’s history, such as the number of previous owners, the car’s age and mileage, any modifications or repairs, and any functions or features that aren’t in full working order. When purchasing a new car, you should look into things such as the insurance group and cost, road tax band, breakdown cover and warranty.

4. Take it for a test drive

It’s highly advisable that you take a car out for a test drive before purchasing, to ensure that it really is the right car for you. If you’re buying a used car, this is the perfect time to check for any hidden defects or faults with anything, such as the brakes, clutch and gear stick. If you’re buying a new car, this is an opportunity to see whether you enjoy driving this particular brand or model, for example, how it performs at high speed.

5. Budget, budget, budget

Perhaps the most important thing to do is to factor all of your required costs into your budget, as it’s not just the car you’ll be paying for. You’ll also need to cover road tax, insurance, fuel, MOT and any unexpected repairs that may need to be carried out. Try to stick to your budget as best as you can, as giving yourself lots of wiggle room will cause your cost to creep up.


We used vehicle licensing data from Gov.uk in order to determine what the most commonly registered cars were in Q1, Q2 and Q3 of 2022. We then narrowed the list down to the top 50 most commonly registered cars.

For each vehicle, we sourced the average owner rating out of five according to the following sites: Parkers, Honest John and Auto Trader. All data is correct as of 12th April 2023 and therefore, the review scores on each site may now differ.

If there were multiple versions of the same model, we took the type with the highest number of reviews. 

For newer models where there were only a very small number of reviews (less than 10), we looked at the previous model for the rating.