Best-selling cars when Labour last won election are still incredibly popular today

Three quarter view of dark blue 1990s Ford Mondeo
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


Labour are back in power following the General Election. Now it may not seem the most usual of links, but cars and politics can go hand in hand.

The online vehicle retail platform AA Cars has now gone on a trip down memory lane to share the best-selling models in the UK when the Labour Party last replaced the Conservatives in 1997. It features a treasure trove of vehicles that are still driven to this day, reports the Express.

James Hosking, Director of AA Cars, noted that 1997's Labour victory was marked by the Ford Mondeo, the fifth-best-selling model of the year that was commonly mentioned by Tony Blair. He said: "[The] 'Mondeo Man' was described as the key voter demographic successfully won over by Labour during the 1997 election campaign, even if the best-selling car of the year was the Mondeo's stablemate, the perennially popular Ford Fiesta."

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Red Peugeot 306 Cabriolet drives down empty road
Some best-sellers in 1997, such as the Peugeot 306, have largely vanished from UK roads -Credit:Getty Images

Mr Hosking continued: "Fast-forward nearly 30 years and both 'Mondeo man' and the car itself, which is no longer in production in Europe, having been consigned to history.",

In addition to the Ford Mondeo, which ceased production in Europe in 2022, AA Cars noted that a number of the best-selling models in 1997 are now a distant memory. The sixth most popular model of the year was the UK-made Vauxhall Vectra, a range of family saloons, liftback, and estates that was related to a number of other models built by Saab and the Australian Holden.

The Peugeot 306, Ford Escort, and Rover 200-series, a trio of competing hatchbacks, also featured in the top 10 of 1997. AA Cars notes that the remaining examples are now worth significant amounts of money, despite their old age. Overall though, the list confirms that many cars that were widely bought by Brits in 1997 are still popular to this day.

The best-selling model of the year was the Ford Fiesta, the stylish hatchback that only went out of production in 2023 after being a part of the company's range for 47 years. Similarly, Vauxhall's Corsa supermini and Astra hatchback, the second and third most popular models, also continue to be a success with buyers.

Top 10 best-selling cars of 1997 (with current average value):

  1. Ford Fiesta - £10,980

  2. Vauxhall Corsa - £10,710

  3. Vauxhall Astra - £10,913

  4. Renault Clio - £10,955

  5. Ford Mondeo - £11,241

  6. Vauxhall Vectra - £2,391

  7. Ford Escort - £22,011

  8. Peugeot 306 - £3,710

  9. Rover 200 - £4,999

  10. Renault Megane - £12,265

Red 1997 Ford Fiesta Mk4 drives along country road
The best-selling car of 1997 was the Ford Fiesta, which is still popular with motorists in 2024 -Credit:Getty Images

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