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What are the most popular car brands in the UK?

What are the most popular car brands in the UK? | Insurance Business UK

What are the most popular car brands in the UK?

The recent pandemic did not dampen Brits’ ardour for cars, with the country logging in 2.3 million new vehicle registrations in 2021, a 5% rise from the previous year, according to the latest data from the Department for Transport and Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

What changed, however, was the brands that UK citizens love the most. For the first time since 2009, Ford lost the title of the nation’s favourite car brand, a new study by price comparison website Confused.com has revealed.

The American car manufacturer was unseated by Volkswagen at the top, slipping all the way down to the fourth spot. German brands dominated the top three, with Audi and BMW occupying second and third, respectively. Japanese car maker Toyota rounded up the top five.

Read more: Revealed - the 10 cheapest family cars to insure in the UK

Confused.com analysed gov.uk vehicle registration data between 2009 and 2021 to uncover changes in Brits’ car brand preferences and found that last year, almost three out of every 10 (29%) vehicles registered in the country were made by a German manufacturer, including Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes. It is estimated that these car makers produced 3.1 million units in the UK in 2021, almost double the 1.56 million units they have manufactured in the US.

The figures show the huge strides German brands have made in terms of popularity since 2009, when Volkswagen was the only brand from the country to secure a spot in the top five, with a market share of 8.04%. Presently, German manufacturers – including BMW, Mercedes, and Audi – account for 40% of the 10 most popular car brands in the UK. 

Another surprising finding was that British car brands such as Vauxhall and Mini were less favourable among UK drivers. From 2016 to 2020, the number of registered Vauxhalls dropped by 4%, and in 2017, Volkswagen overtook the brand to become the second most popular vehicle name in the nation. From 2009 to 2016, Vauxhall held the second spot, with at least a tenth of all registered vehicles from the manufacturer.

Read more: Which are the safest new cars in the UK?

Mini, meanwhile, clung to 15th place on the most popular brand list in 2021, accounting for 2.76% of all registered vehicles. Since 2012, however, Mini’s market share has been gradually increasing, primarily because of BMW’s £750 million investment into UK production between 2012 and 2015.

Here’s the complete list of the UK’s favourite car brands, according to Confused.com’s research.

Rank

Car brand

% of registered vehicles in the UK in 2021

1

Volkswagen

8.92

2

Audi

7.10

3

BMW

7.03

4

Ford

6.98

5

Toyota

6.47

6

Mercedes

5.96

7

Vauxhall

5.51

8

Kia

5.40

9

Nissan

4.30

10

Hyundai

4.11

11

Peugeot

3.60

12

Škoda

3.31

13

Land Rover

3.25

14

Volvo

2.94

15

Mini

2.76

Source: Confused.com

 

Which are the most popular car models in the UK?

Historically, Fords have been the model of choice for most British drivers. From 2001 to 2008, the Ford Focus was the UK’s favourite car, taking up more than 5% of the overall market. It was then overtaken by Ford Fiesta in 2009, when about one in 20 (5.8%) of all registered vehicles in the country were the model.

Since then, the Fiesta has gradually decreased in popularity, with the Vauxhall Corsa, known for its reliability and popularity among first-time drivers, taking up 2.48% of the overall market share and Volkswagen Golf at 2.02% claiming the top two spots in 2021.

Here are the top five most popular car models among British drivers in 2021 based on the data Confused.com gathered.

Rank

Car brand

% of registered vehicles in the UK in 2021

1

Vauxhall Corsa

2.48

2

Volkswagen Golf

2.02

3

Ford Fiesta

1.98

4

Ford Puma

1.94

5

Toyota Yaris

1.84

Source: Confused.com

 

Alex Kindred, a car insurance expert at Confused.com, advised buyers to factor in a vehicle’s make and model as these have a major impact on premiums. 

Read more: These are the 10 cheapest cars to insure for first-time drivers in the UK

“When it comes to getting a quote for car insurance, the type of car you drive is a key consideration for insurers, especially the cost of repairs,” he said. “Typically, cars made by manufacturers with a higher production rate could be cheaper to insure. This is because parts are much easier to obtain, and therefore makes the overall repair process cheaper.”

“If you’re looking to buy a new car, always research how much it would cost to insure, as you might find that your dream car could cost you significantly more to run,” he added.

How can British drivers save on car insurance premiums?

Apart from considering a vehicle’s make and model, there are several ways motorists can slash auto insurance costs. Here are some practical tips from industry experts.

  • Shop around and compare auto insurance rates
  • Take advantage of discounts
  • Skip the coverage that you do not need
  • Keep a clean driving record
  • Be wary of where you park
  • Opt for annual payments
  • Invest in a dashcam
  • Consider raising your deductible
  • Switch to usage-based insurance
  • Use public transportation whenever possible
  • Avoid auto-renewing your policy