2020 (Full Year) Britain: Best-Selling Car Brands in the UK

In 2020, Ford and Volkswagen remained the best-selling car brands in Britain but BMW moved ahead of Mercedes-Benz and Audi outsold Vauxhall.

In 2020, Ford and Volkswagen remained the best-selling car brands in Britain but BMW moved ahead of Mercedes-Benz and Audi ahead of Vauxhall.

In full calendar year 2020, Ford narrowly maintained its position as the best-selling car brand in Britain. Volkswagen was again the second largest car marque in the UK. BMW moved ahead of Mercedes-Benz to take third place for the third time ever. Audi outsold Vauxhall, which had another weak sales year. Toyota was the best-performing top-ten brand in Britain in 2020. MG was the only car brand in Britain to have increased sales volume in 2020. (Tesla sales were not listed separately.) The new car market in Britain in 2020 contracted by 29.4% to 1,631,064 cars — the smallest number since 1992.

British Car Sales Data: 2022: Market Overview, Brands, Models, Electric; 2021: Overview, Brands, Models, Electric, Production & Exports; 2020 — Overview, Brands, Models; 2019 — Overview, Brands, Models

Best-Selling Car Brands in Britain in 2020 (Full Year)

The 40 top-selling car marques in the UK in full-year 2020 were as follows according to the SMMT:

MARQUESales 2020Sales 2019% Change
UK Total1,631,0642,311,140-29.43
1Ford152,777236,137-35.30
2Volkswagen148,338200,771-26.12
3BMW115,476169,753-31.97
4Mercedes-Benz110,883171,823-35.47
5Audi107,842138,924-22.37
6Vauxhall95,444159,830-40.28
7Toyota91,793105,192-12.74
8Nissan71,93292,372-22.13
9Kia70,53797,323-27.52
10Skoda58,69375,053-21.80
11Land Rover58,50576,546-23.57
12Peugeot57,18680,851-29.27
13Hyundai47,50783,284-42.96
14Volvo46,40856,208-17.44
15MINI46,10964,884-28.94
16SEAT45,41968,798-33.98
17Renault42,74059,132-27.72
18Citroen28,05950,806-44.77
19Honda27,29743,913-37.84
20Jaguar25,51336,069-29.27
21Mazda22,74240,148-43.35
22Suzuki19,83835,065-43.43
23Fiat19,25329,890-35.59
24Dacia18,91830,951-38.88
25MG18,41513,07540.84
26Porsche14,28415,257-6.38
27Lexus13,72715,713-12.64
28Mitsubishi9,07616,199-43.97
29Jeep4,6396,193-25.09
30DS2,3794,299-44.66
31Abarth2,3493,448-31.87
32Alfa Romeo2,1073,413-38.27
33Ssangyong1,4881,930-22.90
34smart1,3774,022-65.76
35Bentley1,3371,595-16.18
36Subaru9512,997-68.27
37Polestar850New0.00
38Maserati585933-37.30
39Cupra162New0.00
40Alpine105171-38.60
Source: SMMT

Top 10 Best-Selling Car Brands in the UK in 2020

In full-year 2020, Ford was again the best-selling car brand in Britain but it lost 35% in sales despite having three of the top ten best-selling car models in the UK.

Volkswagen was Britain’s second-largest car brand for the fourth consecutive year. In 2017 — the year VW claimed second place in the UK for the first time — the deficit was nearly 80,000 cars. In 2020, VW was only 4,439 sales behind Ford. Volkswagen gained market share in Britain.

Despite sales down by 32%, BMW moved ahead of Mercedes-Benz to become the third largest carmaker in Britain — the highest rank position for BMW ever. Mercedes-Benz slipped back to fourth after only one year as Britain’s third most popular car marque.

Audi outperformed the broader market and gained fifth place from Vauxhall. Vauxhall slipped to sixth with sales down by 40% — the worst performer amongst the top ten brands and amongst the top 20 only Hyundai and Citroen did worse.

Toyota maintained its seventh place with the strongest performance of any top brand in Britain in 2020. Only MG and Lexus performed better.

Nissan and Kia swapped rank positions with both brands gaining market share. Skoda entered the top ten for the first time at the expense of Hyundai that had a dismal year in Britain with sales down 43% in 2020.

In 2020, MG was the only marque to have increased volume sales in Britain. Polestar and Cupra joined the statistics as new brands.

Tesla sales were not listed individually by the SMMT. However, the Tesla Model 3 was the best-selling car model in Britain in December 2020 with 5,798 units — more than enough to enter the top 30 marques list. Tesla is presumably a large percentage of the 26,086 (+78%) listed simply as “Other Imports.”

The worst-performing brands were Subaru and Smart with sales down by two thirds.

The Ford Fiesta was again Britain’s favorite car model in 2020 but sales and the lead are slipping.

British Car Sales Data: 2022: Market Overview, Brands, Models, Electric; 2021: Overview, Brands, Models, Electric, Production & Exports; 2020 — Overview, Brands, Models; 2019 — Overview, Brands, Models