In 2021, the total number of passenger vehicles registered for use on public roads in Germany increased to over 48 million cars. Volkswagen and Mercedes were the most common brands.
On 1 January 2021, the total number of passenger vehicles registered for use on public roads in Germany was 48,248,548 cars — an increase of 1.1%. 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 was the second most common car brand in Germany followed by Opel and Ford. The average age of cars in Germany increased to 9.8 years.
Total Number of Vehicles in Germany in 2021
The total number of motorized vehicles registered on 1 January 2021 for use on public roads in Germany (Fahrzeugbestand) at the KBA increased by 1.6% to a new record 66.9 million vehicles. This number includes 59,020,091 (2020: 58,158,344 / +1.5%) motorized vehicles (Kraftfahrzeuge / Kfz) and 7,867,929 (2020: 7,652,232 +2.8%) trailers (Kraftfahrzeuganhänger).
By far the largest component of the motorized vehicles were passenger cars (PKW) 48,248,584 (2020: 47,715,977 / +1.1) followed by motorcycles at 4,661,561 (2020: 4,506,410 / +3.4%) and heavy commercial vehicles (trucks / lorries / LKW) at 3,410,280 (2020: 3,276,093 / +4.1%).
Number of Cars on German Roads (2013 – 2021)
The total number of passenger vehicles (PKW) on German roads at the start of 2020 increased by 1.1% or 532,607 more cars than a year ago. The increase was only slightly slower than in recent years despite the huge drop in car sales in 2020 due to the lockdown measures. Coronavirus largely contributed to the increase in motorcycles.
The total number of passenger cars registered for use in Germany was as follows in recent years:
Passenger Vehicles Registered in Germany in 2021
A few further salient features from the statistics released by the KBA on the total number of passenger cars registered for use in Germany at the start of 2021:
- Compact cars, e.g. VW Golf, remained the most common car size with a share of 24.7% (25.1% in 2020), followed by small cars, e.g. VW Polo, with 15.5% (18.7%) and mid-size, e.g. VW Passat, with 12.7% (13.2%).
- The fastest-growing segments were mobile homes (+14%) followed by SUVs (e.g. VW T-Roc) with a 14.1% increase, and cross-country vehicles (Geländewagen, e.g. VW Tiguan) (+6.9%).
- Most cars on German roads still used petrol (Benzin) in 2021 with a 65.2% share followed by diesel with a 31.2% share. Electric cars doubled market share to 0.6% of the total number of cars in Germany.
- The total number of electric cars in Germany increased to 309,083 BEVs (2020: 136,617 and 2019: 83,175). The increase of 172,466 electric cars on German roads is still a good 21,697 below total new electric car registrations in Germany in 2020. In recent years, electric cars first registered in Germany have often been rumored to be sold on to neighboring countries, although a large number of cars in 2020 could have been research vehicles too.
- The average age of cars in Germany increased to 9.8 years.
- The number of cars older than 30 years (Oldtimer) increased by 11.18% to 584,509 (2020: 526,000) cars in Germany at the start of 2021.
Total Cars Registered in Germany by Brand in 2021
The most-common marques of cars registered in Germany on 1 January 2021 according to the KBA were as follows:
|Car Brand||1 Jan 2021||% Share||1 Jan 2020||% Change|
|Total Car Parc||48,248,584||100.0||47,715,977||1.1|
Top Car Brands in Germany in 2021
As the average age of cars registered in Germany in 2021 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 two sets of changes among the top 20 brands.
Volkswagen easily remained the most popular car brand in Germany with 21% of all cars in Germany wearing the VW emblem. However, the increase of 0.6% was below average and Volkswagen’s market share of 18% of the German new car market in 2020 also well below its long-term average. However, Volkswagen was cleaning up on the electric car market in 2020 with a 24% share despite ID3 deliveries only starting in the final months of the year.
Mercedes-Benz claimed second place from Opel at the start of 2020 and extended the lead with the share of cars on German roads increasing by 2.1%
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. The total number of Opels registered in Germany at the start of 2021 was 2.7% fewer than a year ago — the worst performance of any top ten brand.
The total number of Ford and Audi cars in Germany increased but below-average to reflect the weak sales of both marques in recent years. The number of BMWs increased above average.
VW-owned Skoda remained the most popular foreign car brand in Germany with the number of Skodas in Germany increasing by a strong 5.4%. In contrast, fewer Renault cars were in use in Germany in 2021 than a year ago.
Hyundai performed strongly but Seat was the most improved top ten brand. Both brands improved one rank position at the expense of Toyota that slipped out of the top ten
The only other rank change amongst the top 20 brands was Mitsubishi moving ahead of Volvo.
The brands with the highest increases in the number of cars in Germany in 2021 were Tesla, Jeep, and Seat. Although the total number of Teslas in Germany increased by 78 it was only the 36th most common brand (up four from a year ago). Even if sales doubled, it will still fail to reach the top 30 brands.
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.
German Car Sales Statistics — 2022: Market Overview, Brands, Models, Electric; 2021: Market, Brands, Models, Electric; 2020: Market, Brands, Models, Electric; 2019: Market, Brands, Models, Electric