2017 (Full Year) Britain: Best-Selling Car Brands

In 2017, Ford remained the top-selling car marque despite loosing market share. Volkswagen overtook Vauxhall while Mercedes-Benz became the fourth best-selling brand in the UK.

Volkswagen at Geneva 2017

Ford was again the best-selling carmaker in Britain in 2017 but sales were down by 10%. Vauxhall lost second place to Volkswagen with sales down by more than a fifth. Mercedes-Benz outsold both Audi and BMW in Britain in 2017. French car brands Peugeot, Renault and Citroen, as well as Fiat, had dismal car sales in the UK in 2017.

The British New Car Market in 2017 (Full Year)

In 2017, new passenger vehicle registrations in the United Kingdom contracted by 5.65% to 2,540,617 cars. Although the British new car market in 2017 was around 150,000 vehicles smaller than in 2016, new passenger vehicle registrations in the UK remained at a very high level.

Car sales in the UK were down in 2017 for the first time since 2011 but followed two exceptionally strong years. The market was hampered by uncertainty regarding not only Brexit and currency movements but probably more important uncertainty regarding environmental regulations and potential restrictions on diesel cars.

In 2017, the share of diesel engine new cars in Britain contracted by 17% to a 42% market share compared to 47.7% in 2016. Petrol engine cars increased market share from 49% to 53.3%. The move away from diesel cars was even stronger towards the end of the year and is likely to continue in 2018.

Annual new car sales in the UK since 2007:

Year UK Car Sales % Change
2017 2,540,617 -5.65
2016 2,692,786 2.25
2015 2,633,503 6.3
2014 2,476,435 9.4
2013 2,264,737 11
2012 2,044,609 5.3
2011 1,941,253 -4.4
2010 2,030,846 1.8
2009 1,994,999 -6.4
2008 2,131,795 -11
2007 2,404,007
Source: SMMT

Best-Selling Car Brands in the UK in 2017

The top 40 best-selling car marques in Britain in 2017 according to new passenger vehicle registration data released by the SMMT were:

Car Marque 2017 2016 % Change % Market share
Total UK Market 2,540,617 2,692,786 -5.65 100
1 Ford 287,396 318,316 -9.71 11.31
2 Volkswagen 208,462 207,028 0.69 8.21
3 Vauxhall 195,137 250,955 -22.24 7.68
4 Mercedes-Benz 180,970 169,828 6.56 7.12
5 BMW 175,101 182,593 -4.1 6.89
6 Audi 174,982 177,304 -1.31 6.89
7 Nissan 151,156 152,525 -0.9 5.95
8 Toyota 101,985 96,746 5.42 4.01
9 Hyundai 93,403 92,419 1.06 3.68
10 Kia 93,222 89,364 4.32 3.67
11 Land Rover 82,653 79,534 3.92 3.25
12 Peugeot 82,226 98,529 -16.55 3.24
13 Skoda 79,758 80,372 -0.76 3.14
14 Renault 69,110 85,102 -18.79 2.72
15 MINI 68,166 68,984 -1.19 2.68
16 SEAT 56,130 47,456 18.28 2.21
17 Honda 53,901 59,106 -8.81 2.12
18 Citroen 51,455 62,991 -18.31 2.03
19 Volvo 46,139 46,696 -1.19 1.82
20 Fiat 44,475 60,581 -26.59 1.75
21 Suzuki 40,343 38,167 5.7 1.59
22 Mazda 39,092 46,609 -16.13 1.54
23 Jaguar 35,544 34,822 2.07 1.4
24 Dacia 25,149 26,499 -5.09 0.99
25 Mitsubishi 16,092 18,237 -11.76 0.63
26 Porsche 14,051 13,097 7.28 0.55
27 Lexus 12,670 13,915 -8.95 0.5
28 smart 10,323 12,020 -14.12 0.41
29 DS 9,082 15,898 -42.87 0.36
30 Jeep 6,380 14,090 -54.72 0.25
31 Alfa Romeo 4,997 4,881 2.38 0.2
32 Abarth 4,441 3,966 11.98 0.17
33 MG 4,441 4,192 5.94 0.17
34 Ssangyong 3,590 4,444 -19.22 0.14
35 Infiniti 3,515 2,891 21.58 0.14
36 Subaru 2,679 3,612 -25.83 0.11
37 Bentley 1,753 1,948 -10.01 0.07
38 Maserati 1,701 1,435 18.54 0.07
39 Aston Martin 1,471 906 62.36 0.06
40 McLaren 567 18 3050 0.02
Other Imports 5,860 3,542 65.44 0.23
Other British 700 825 -15.15 0.03
Source: SMMT

Top-Selling Carmakers in Britain in 2017

Ford remained the best-selling car band in the UK in 2017 despite sales contracting by 10%. Ford lost half a percentage point market share in the UK but easily maintained its position as the favorite car marque of the British public.

Volkswagen became the second best-selling car brand in the UK for the first time ever in 2017. Volkswagen鈥檚 improvement from third was more due to Vauxhall鈥檚 dismal performance as VW sales were flat while Vauxhall sales were down by 22%.

Ford sold 31,000 fewer cars in Britain in 2017 compared to 2016 while Vauxhall sales were down 55,000 cars.

In contrast, Mercedes-Benz sales in the UK increased by 11,000 cars in 2017 to leapfrog both BMW and Audi to take fourth place in Britain and the leading position for premium brands. BMW and Audi both had weaker sales in Britain in 2017.

Nissan had flat sales in the UK in 2017 but sufficient to maintain seventh place. Toyota, Hyundai and Kia each moved up one sales rank position in the UK at the expense of Peugeot that slipped from 8th to 12 with sales down by 17%. Toyota sales exceeded 100,000 cars in the UK while Kia joined Hyundai as a top-ten brand in Britain.

French brands Peugeot, Renault and Citroen all had a weak year in Britain in 2017 but sales down by nearly a fifth. DS had a typical dismal performance with sales down by 43%.

VW-owned Seat was the only top-20 brand in the UK in 2017 with double-digit sales increases in 2017. Fiat and Vauxhall were the worst performers with sales down by around a quarter.

The Fiesta remained the favorite car of the British but the VW Golf was the second best-selling car model in the UK in 2017.