2023 (Full Year) France: New Car Market Overview and Analysis

In the full calendar year 2023, the French new car market expanded by 16% with the highest passenger vehicle sales in France in four years.

In the full calendar year 2023, the French new car market expanded by 16% with the highest passenger vehicle sales in France in four years.
© Renault 2023

In 2023 (January to December), new passenger vehicle registrations in France increased by 16.1% to 1,774,729 cars — the best new car sales in four years. Petrol remained the most popular fuel type for new cars in France but battery-electric vehicles increased market share to 17%. Stellantis remained the largest car producer in France but Renault was the best-selling brand and the Renault Clio was the favorite car model of the French in 2023.

Latest French Car Sales Statistics — 2023: Market Overview, Brands, Models; 2022, 2021, 2020.

New Car Market in France in 2023 (Full Year)

In the full calendar year 2023, the new light vehicles market in France expanded by 14.75% to 2,153,937 vehicles. The market consisted of the following main categories:

  • Passenger vehicle registrations increased by 16.07% in 2023 to 1,774,729 cars.
  • Light commercial vehicle registrations in France increased by a more modest 8.95% to 379,208 vehicles in 2023.

In addition, sales of heavy commercial vehicles (5.1 tons plus) increased by 11% to 48,877 trucks, lorries, and buses.

French car sales by month in the previous four years were as follows according to the CCFA:

French car sales by month in the previous four years were as follows according to the CCFA:
© CCFA

In 2023, new car sales in France were higher each month compared to sales in 2022. However, it should be noted that the French car market was particularly weak in 2022.

Passenger Car Sales in France by Year (2009 to 2023)

New passenger vehicle registrations in France were as follows in the full calendar years since 2009:

YearSales% Change
20231,774,72916.1
20221,529,035-7.83
20211,659,0080.54
20201,650,082-25.5
20192,214,2791.9
20182,173,4813
20172,110,7514.7
20162,015,1865.1
20151,917,2306.8
20141,795,9130.3
20131,790,473-5.7
20121,898,872-13.9
20112,204,229-2.1
20102,251,6692.2
20092,302,398
Source: CCFA

New Car Sales in France: 2023 Market Analysis

Although new passenger vehicle registrations in France increased by 16.1% in 2023 to the highest level in four years, the market remained well below pre-pandemic levels. The French new car market in 2023 was the fourth smallest of the past 15 years. Sales in 2023 were nearly a quarter million cars more than in 2022 but still over 400,000 cars fewer than in pre-pandemic years.

Although Stellantis remained the largest carmaker in France in 2023, both Peugeot and Citroen had a dismal performance allowing Renault to regain the title as the best-selling car brand in France in 2023. Similarly, the Renault Clio regained the top slot from the Peugeot 208 to be the top-selling car model in France in 2023.

→ See also Best-Selling Car Manufacturers and Brands in France in 2023 and the Top 20 Best-Selling Car Models in France in 2023.

Fuel Types and Market Share for New Cars in France in 2023

The fuel types of new cars sold in France in 2023 were as follows:

Fuel Type2023% Share2022% Share2021% Share2020% Share
Petrol641,58836.2568,88037.2667,50340,2774,38346,9
Diesel171,7379.7239,11115.6349,48221,1504,17830,6
Hybrids595,24233.5459,21230.0427,53725,8243,67614,8
— of which plug-ins162,9529.2126,5498.3141,0128,574,5924,5
Battery Electric298,52216.8203,12113.3162,1069,8110,9166,7

Petrol remained by far the most popular fuel type for new cars in France, especially if taken into account that almost all hybrids are also using petrol. The popularity of diesel continued to decline with sales of diesels making up less than a tenth of the new passenger vehicle market in France in 2023.

Although battery-electric vehicle sales increased in France in 2023, the market penetration developed at the same rate as in the previous three years with market share up by around 3.5% each year to 16.8% in 2023.

Latest French Car Sales Statistics — 2023: Market Overview, Brands, Models; 2022, 2021, 2020.