20 Jun

The UK’s Favourite Wheels

Andy Moody
Car Guides

The most popular car brands across the UK

It’s no secret that the UK loves cars and that most people you ask have a favourite car brand. While personal preference can differ based on taste, budget and practicality, we wanted to find out the UK’s favourite car brand based on the number of licensed cars.

Looking at government data we found the most popular car brand in each region of the UK and looked at which areas drive electric vehicles the most.

Using temporary car insurance offers flexibility when driving a car in the UK. It’s essential to always make sure you’re covered with short-term insurance.

 

  1. Ford – 4,059,000 licensed cars

Ford is known for being one of the UK’s most-loved car brands, famous for its affordability and practicality. In the UK, the most popularly owned car brand is Ford, with 4,059,000 Ford cars registered by the end of 2021.

 

  1. Vauxhall – 3,040,400 licensed cars

Vauxhall is the UK’s favourite British car brand, with 3,040,400 licensed Vauxhall cars in the UK by the end of 2021. The car company that was established in Vauxhall, London in 1857 has a model that appeals to almost anyone, from the small Astra to the family car Insignia, so it’s no wonder it’s one of the UK’s best-loved. 

 

  1. Volkswagen – 2,895,200 licensed cars

The German motor company, Volkswagen, was first established in 1937 and is probably best known for its iconic retro Beetle car. In the UK, Volkswagen has undeniable popularity, likely thanks to its variety, price and reliability. By the end of 2021, there were 2,895,200 Volkswagen cars licensed in the UK.

 

The most popular car brands in each UK region

The Department of Transport recognises licensed cars by the following regions: London, West Midlands, East Midlands, North West, South East, North East, East, South West, Yorkshire and the Humber, Scotland and Wales.

We looked at the car brands with the most licensed cars in each region, to find each UK area’s favourite brand.

 

  1. Ford – Most popular car brand in 10 regions

The UK’s favourite car brand comes in first place for the most popular car brand in ten regions across the UK. Beating out all other car brands in every region except Scotland, there are more Ford cars in the South East than in any other area.

 

  1. Volkswagen – Most popular car brand in 1 region

Scotland’s most popular car brand is Germany’s ‘people’s car’, with a total of 283,200 licensed Volkswagen cars in Scotland by the end of 2021.

 

There are more licensed cars in the South East of England than in any other region, out of London, West Midlands, East Midlands, North West, North East, East, South West, Yorkshire and the Humber, Scotland and Wales.

In the South East, there are 5,203,100 licensed cars, with Ford being the most popular car brand.

 

The UK region with the most cars is also the area with the most plug-in vehicles, with 66,994 plug-in vehicles registered for the first time in the South East by 2021. 21% of the UK’s plug-in cars registered for the first time last year are in the South East, compared to the North East which has just 2%. Plug-in vehicles can be defined as any road-safe vehicle that uses an external power source to power the electric motor.

 

The South East comes out on top as the UK region with the most ultra-low emissions vehicles. The region with the most licensed cars had more ultra-low emissions vehicles registered for the first time last year than any other area, at 66,281. Ultra-low emissions vehicles can range from fully electric vehicles to plug-in hybrids and other electric vehicles.

 

Methodology

We sourced the number of licensed cars at the end of the year by make and region in the United Kingdom in 2021 from Vehicle Licensing Statistics Table VEH0210.

We sourced the number of licensed cars at the end of the year by region, Great Britain in 2020 from Vehicle Licensing Statistics Table VEH0204.

We sourced the number of licensed cars at the end of the year by propulsion/fuel type, Great Britain in 2020 from Vehicle Licensing Statistics Table VEH0203.

We sourced the number of plug-in vehicles registered for the first time by region in 2021 from Vehicle Licensing Statistics Table VEH0182.

We sourced the number of ultra-low emission vehicles registered for the first time by region, United Kingdom in 2021 from Vehicle Licensing Statistics Table VEH0172.