Honda Civic tops ‘Geek Chic’ list

Retro cars are making a big comeback and the Honda Civic is leading the way as the most ‘Geek chic’ car.

By Fusion Lifestyle Reporter
November 3, 2011, 8:37 pm

First it was retro black-rimmed glasses and vintage plaid shirts but now it seems that second-hand cars are all the rage as drivers make a bid to get the ‘geek chic’ look.

According to research from Britannia Rescue, the Honda Civic 2001-2003 model tops the list of older cars once considered ‘geeky’ that are now desirable to those under 40.

In fact, nearly half (45%) of classic car dealers have reported renewed interest in these formerly ‘nerdy’ motors over the past twelve months and one in eight (13%) used car dealers have sold a Honda Civic in the past year.

Other formerly geeky cars that are now sought-after include the Vauxhall Cavalier, Austin Mini Countryman and Citroen 2CV – models that experts are calling ‘geek chic’ as Brits make a return to buy uncool cars from the past.

SMMT data reveals that there are over 200,000 of the top ten cars running on UK roads today and over a fifth (21%) of car dealers have sold one or more in the past 12 months. 

The trend is being heralded by appearances of geek chic cars on film and TV with the Ford Capri - one of the most desirable cars from the 1970s – featuring on reality TV series The Only Way is Essex and the iconic Mercedes G Wagon recently made a cameo appearance on Made In Chelsea. The most desirable car on the list, the formally nerdy Honda Civic 2001 – 2003, has risen to unprecedented popularity over the past decade following a starring role in The Fast and the Furious films

Some of Britain’s biggest celebrities are also fans of geek chic motors. Singer Katie Perry gave her British husband Russell Brand a vintage Ford Capri as a wedding gift and despite driving a sporty Aston Martin DB5 during his on-screen role as 007, in real life Sir Sean Connery prefers the rugged Land Rover Defender. 

But it’s not just celebrity fans and appearances on the big and small screens that are provoking an interest in these cars. Research among under 40s finds a fifth (19%) think older motors are more stylish than modern vehicles and almost as many (18%) believe older cars are unlikely to depreciate in value.

In fact, one in five (19%) of those under 40 believes that older cars are better made and last longer. Britannia Rescue is warning those considering buying an older car that they should service them regularly to reduce the risk of breakdown and ensure their future on the roads for many more years to come.

Peter Horton, Britannia Rescue Managing Director, said: "It’s great to see how cars that were once the ‘geeks’ of the showroom have become desirable and are popular amongst trendsetters again. Geek chic cars are seen as more stylish than modern cars and usually benefit from cheaper road tax. Older cars can also be easier to maintain than modern cars as they tend to be simpler under the bonnet but as with any car, drivers should service them regularly and invest in road rescue cover to protect them in the event of a breakdown.”

Mike Brewer, presenter of Wheeler Dealers adds: “Britannia Rescue’s research shows that geek chic cars are very desirable now and I’d anticipate that as these become rarer, they will really appreciate in value. My personal favourite is the G Wagon which is set to become a modern ‘classic’ if demand continues to rise.”

The top ten most desirable ‘geek chic’ cars:

1. Honda Civic 2001-2003

2. Ford Sierra

3. Ford Capri  

4. Land Rover Defender  

= 5. Mercedes G Wagon

= 5. Vauxhall Cavalier 

6. Citroen DS

7. Austin Mini Countryman

8. Citroen 2CV

9. British Leyland Maxi

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