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Axa publishes 'Motor Map' of regional car preferences

Two million UK motorists were asked by insurer Axa about their choice of car as part of the first UK "Motor map" survey just published.

The Escort is the car of choice in 22% of UK towns - its nearest rival for Britons' affections is the Fiat Punto in Scotland. Overall, across the UK Ford is the most popular car maker in 47% of UK towns - with Vauxhall at 11% and Rover on 10% their nearest rivals.

Essex, the county with the scaled-down Dagenham car plant, is still the heartland of Ford. Likewise in Luton and Birmingham loyalty to local manufacturers runs deep. In Luton one-in-three cars are Vauxhalls and in Birmingham one in six are Rovers.

But in London it appears image is all-important with prestige German marques leading the field. In the north of the capital BMW's are the most popular brand, while in affluent south-west London and Kensington Porsche and Mercedes are the cars of choice.

"The car we drive is influenced by our own identity, what others around us drive, the loyalty we have to our region, practical considerations and social pressure," said Axa spokesman Simon Baker.

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