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Car-obsessed readers of Autoblog may not have any problem thinking of their car as a social expression of who they are, but that's not necessarily true for the majority of the population of the world. Many people consider their car a necessary appliance, something required in life that they care little about. But recently, stylish, trendy and lovable vehicles are causing more people to form a personal attachment to their car, one that they would like to share with others. A look at social networking sites such as Facebook shows that people are interested in getting to know other drivers with the same type of car.

So, with that information established, what kind of car is most likely to attract attention? According to a recent survey by the U.K. "used car hypermarket" Carcraft shows that MINI owners are the most likely to reach out on the interwebs, with Honda Civic owners coming in at a distant second. Follow the break for Carcraft's list of the Top Ten "Friendliest" Cars, along with the accompanying press release.

[Source: Carcraft]


PRESS RELEASE

WANT MORE FRIENDS? BUY A MINI

Could the car you drive really boost your social life? It could if you choose the right model according to new research into online social networking.

Research published this month by Carcraft, the UK's longest established used car hypermarket chain, found that many thousands of car owners are joining Facebook groups set up specifically to exchange messages and advice with fellow owners of the same make of car.

Mini Cooper drivers were the friendliest of all, according to the Carcraft survey, with more than 20,000 drivers networking across more than 300 groups.

Barry Nightingale, managing director at Carcraft, says: "It is interesting to see that cars are not only viewed as a symbol of wealth and status but they are increasingly becoming a crucial part of people's identity and social life. This is reflected online with large numbers using sites such as Facebook to network with like-minded drivers.

"The website is even encouraging the trend by introducing a 'garage' application, which allows users to publish the make and model of their car on their personal profile page."

Since it launched four years ago, Facebook has become one of the most popular social networking sites, with more than 61 million active users and countless special interest groups.

Frances Brown, a 26-year-old Mini Cooper driver from Manchester has discovered that car interest groups have a number of uses besides boosting her tally of Facebook friends.

She explains: "Facebook groups are a good way to chat to likeminded people and to discuss different car makes, as you can read about people's actual experiences. They can help you save money and keep you up to date with new launches. I regularly post messages to other Mini drivers in the group to share information on anything from repair costs to different models and new accessories."

The top 10 'friendliest' cars according to Carcraft's research* are
:

Car

Number of fan groups

Total number of fan group members (approx)

Mini Cooper

310

23,756

Honda Civic

187

11,102

Ford Fiesta

145

3,603

Ford Ka

81

1,902

VW Golf

70

1,455

Renault Clio

68

1,343

VW Polo

56

1,247

Vauxhall Corsa

41

1,369

Toyota Yaris

30

1,869

Audi A3

23

1,610


*Research based on the top 30 makes and models of car and figures calculated in March 2008
.