Britain’s favourite car brand has changed for the first time in 12 YEARS – and it’s not what you’d expect

WE LOVE cars here in Britain – for a relatively small place and a recent pandemic thrown in, we still registered 1.6million new ones in 2021.

However, something even more surprising happened last year too: our favourite brand changed for the first time since 2009.


The Volkswagen Golf was the second most popular car model in 2021Credit: Volkswagen UK

For 12 years we’ve chosen a Ford more often than any other manufacturer, but according to a study by, the tables have now turned.

Ford has slipped to fourth place, with the top three positions now occupied by German manufacturers.

In first place is Volkswagen, which took an impressive 8.92% of total registrations in 2021.

Second and third places were taken by Audi and BMW with 7.1% and 7.03% of registrations respectively.

The rest of the top 15 manufacturers in 2021 were, in order: Ford, Toyota, Mercedes, Vauxhall, Kia, Nissan, Hyundai, Peugeot, Skoda, Land Rover, Volvo and Mini.

The Vauxhall Corsa is the UK’s most popular car model making up 2.48% of all registered vehicles in the UK. That’s 0.46% more than Volkswagen Golf in second place (2.02%). 

By 2021, 3 in 10 (29.01%) of registered vehicles in the UK were made by a German manufacturer, including Volkswagen, Audi, BMW and Mercedes.

In 2009, however, Volkswagen was the only German brand in the top 5 most popular manufacturers in the UK, with a market share of 8.04%.

Now, Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes and Audi make up 40% of the top 10 most popular brands.

Historically, Fords have always been the most popular choice among British drivers. From 2001 to 2008, the Ford Focus was the most favoured car with over 5% of the market share. 

This was then overtaken by the Ford Fiesta in 2008, when over 1 in 20 (5.80%) of registered vehicles in the UK were a Fiesta.

Since then, the Fiesta has gradually decreased in popularity, with the Vauxhall Corsa (2.48% market share) and Volkswagen Golf (2.02%) overtaking in 2021. 

Alex Kindred, car insurance expert at said: “When getting a quote for car insurance, the type of car you drive is a key consideration for insurers.

“This comes into play especially when looking at the cost of repairs. 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.”

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