In 2020, the total number of passenger vehicles registered for use on German roads increased to almost 50 million. Volkswagen and Mercedes were the most common cars.
On 1 January 2020, the total number of passenger vehicles registered for use on public roads in Germany was 47,715,977 cars – an increase of 1.3%. Volkswagen remained by far the most common car brand seen in Germany with more than a fifth of the total German car parc. Mercedes-Benz moved ahead of Opel as the second most common car brand in Germany. The average age of cars in Germany increased to 9.6 years.
Total Number of Vehicles in Germany in 2020
The total number of motorized vehicles registered on 1 January 2020 for use on public roads in Germany (Fahrzeugbestand) at the KBA increased by 1.6% to a new record 65.8 million vehicles. This number includes 58,158,344 (+1.5%) motorized vehicles (Kraftfahrzeuge / Kfz) and 7,652,232 trailers (Kraftfahrzeuganhänger).
By far the largest component of the motorized vehicles were passenger cars (PKW) 47,715,977 (+1.3) followed by motorcycles at 4,506,410 (+1.5%) heavy commercial vehicles (trucks / lorries / LKW) at 3,276,093 (+4.0%).
Number of Cars on German Roads (2013 – 2020)
The total number of passenger vehicles (PKW) on German roads at the start of 2020 increased by 1.3% or 620,000 more cars than a year ago. The increase was similar to a year ago but slower than in recent years. Still, there are currently 3.3 million more cars registered for use in Germany than five years ago.
The total number of passenger cars registered for use in Germany was as follows in recent years:
Passenger Vehicles Registered in Germany in 2020
A few further salient features from the statistics released by the KBA on the number of passenger cars registered for use in Germany at the start of 2020:
- Compact cars, e.g. VW Golf, remained the most common car size with a share of 25.1% (25.6% in 2019), followed by small cars, e.g. VW Polo, with 18.7% (19%) and mid-size, e.g. VW Passat, with 13.2% (13.8%).
- The fastest-growing segments were SUVs (e.g. VW T-Roc) with a 19.8% increase, followed by mobile homes (+10.6) and cross-country vehicles (Geländewagen) (+8.7%).
- Most cars on German roads still used petrol (Benzin) in 2020 with a 65.9% share followed by diesel with a 31.7% share. Electric cars had a 0.3% share of the total number of cars in Germany.
- The total number of electric cars in Germany increased to 136,617 battery-electric cars (BEV) from 83,175 BEVS in 2019. The increase of 53,442 electric cars on German roads is still a good 10,000 below total electric car registrations in Germany in 2019. In recent years, electric cars first registered in Germany have often been rumored to be sold on to neighboring countries.
- The average age of cars in Germany increased to 9.6 years.
- The number of cars older than 30 years (Oldtimer) increased by 10.8% to 526,000 cars in Germany at the start of 2020.
Cars Registered in Germany by Brand in 2020
The most-common marques of cars registered in Germany on 1 January 2020 according to the KBA were as follows:
|Brand||1 Jan 2020||1 Jan 2019||% Share||% Change|
|Total||47,715,977||47 095 784||100.0||1.3|
|1||VW||10,088,693||10 039 389||21.1||0.5|
|2||Mercedes||4,501,721||4 434 329||9.4||1.5|
|3||Opel||4,355,943||4 455 662||9.1||-2.2|
|4||Ford||3,493,965||3 438 207||7.3||1.6|
|5||BMW||3,295,796||3 256 884||6.9||1.2|
|6||Audi||3,250,757||3 242 838||6.8||0.2|
|7||Skoda||2,297,729||2 169 706||4.8||5.9|
|8||Renault||1,753,960||1 773 013||3.7||-1.1|
|9||Toyota||1,300,104||1 302 395||2.7||-0.2|
|10||Hyundai||1,278,667||1 195 023||2.7||7.0|
|11||Seat||1,241,750||1 154 612||2.6||7.5|
|12||Fiat||1,198,632||1 174 960||2.5||2.0|
|13||Peugeot||1,088,959||1 119 914||2.3||-2.8|
|29||Alfa Romeo||114,412||119 095||0.2||-3.9|
|30||Land Rover||113,909||108 056||0.2||5.4|
|38||MG Rover||26,725||28 777||0.1||-7.1|
Top Car Brands in Germany in 2020
As the average age of cars registered in Germany in 2020 was approaching ten years, it is not surprising that the rank order of the most common car brands in Germany changes only slowly despite different success in the salesroom. There were only four pair-swappings among the top 25 brands.
Volkswagen easily remained the most popular car brand in Germany with 21.1% of all cars in Germany wearing the VW emblem. However, the increase of 0.5% was below average and Volkswagen’s market share of 18.5% of the German new car market in 2019 also well below its long-term average.
Mercedes-Benz finally claimed second place from Opel despite being the second-most-popular car brand in Germany in sales terms for several years. Mercedes-Benz share of cars on German roads at the start of 2020 was equal to its share of sales in 2019.
Opel continued to lose popularity in Germany. Opel sales were weak in recent years and the number of new Opels added to the total well below the average. Opel – often termed as the eternal second in Germany – slipped to third. This was the worst performance of any top ten brand and the only change at the top.
Ford increased to reflect a good sales year in 2019. The number of BMWs and Audis in Germany also increased although below the average.
VW-owned Skoda remained the most popular foreign car brand in Germany with the number of Skodas in Germany increasing by a strong 5.9%. In contrast, fewer Renault and Toyota cars were in use in Germany in 2020 than a year ago.
Hyundai was the most improved top ten brand but only narrowly stayed ahead of VW-owned SEAT that increased its presence in Germany by 7.5%. Seat moved ahead of Fiat.
The only other rank changes amongst the top 25 brands were Mazda moving ahead of Nissan and BMW-owned Mini moving ahead of Honda.
The brands with the highest increases in the number of cars in Germany in 2020 were Dacia and Jeep. The worst performing larger brands were PSA brands Opel and Peugeot. The worst performing brands overall were marques no longer sold in Germany such as Chrysler, Lancia, Daihatsu, and Chevrolet.
See also 2019 (Full Year) Germany: Overview of the German New Car Market.