BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Ford, Volkswagen, Vauxhall. Drive through any town or city in the UK and you will see these cars parked along just about every street and driveway.

They are popular for a reason, large dealer networks, wide model ranges and class-leading technologies will inevitably have customers lining up. But there are plenty of competent alternatives out there that haven’t captured the buying publics’ imagination.

Some have been shunned because of historical mediocrity, others struggle to gain traction because of a limited dealer network. Most though offer just as much performance and dealer backup as the popular makes but they are just not as well known and car buyers tend to be creatures of habit.

Whatever the reason, there are some great cars out there that really deserve your attention, most also sell for less than their more popular rivals and if depreciation is a concern buying one that is a year or two old can yield even greater savings than going with the crowd. Start slideshow