Volkswagen overtakes Ford as the UK’s favourite car brand

Volkswagen overtakes Ford as the UK’s favourite car brand

Image of a Volkswagen car. Credit: By Alexander Migl - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Almost one in every 10 vehicles registered in the UK last year was a Volkswagen.

According to the newest study from the top price comparison website, Volkswagen is the UK’s most popular car brand. The study revealed that 8.92 per cent of vehicles registered in the UK last year belonging to the German manufacturer.

The research analysed vehicle registration data to uncover the changes in the UK’s car brand preferences between 2009 to 2021. It revealed which car brands have been the most popular, as well as the specific models that are most favourable among UK drivers today.

Volkswagen’s market share was 1.82 per cent more than Audi in second place. The German company’s market share has been steadily increasing since 2016 when it was the third most popular brand in the UK with a 7.61 per cent share. As a result, Volkswagen has overtaken Ford as the UK’s favourite car brand for the first time since 2009.

By 2021, three out of every 10 (29.01 per cent) vehicles registered in the UK were made by a German manufacturer, including Volkswagen, Audi, BMW and Mercedes. It is estimated that German manufacturers produced 3.10 million units in 2021 – almost double (98 per cent) the number of units produced by the USA (1.56 million).

In 2009, however, Volkswagen was the only German brand in the top five most popular manufacturers in the UK, with a market share of 8.04 per cent. Now, Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi make up 40 per cent of the top 10 most popular brands.

It is surprising that British car manufacturers such as Vauxhall and Mini are less favourable among UK drivers. From 2016 to 2020, the number of registered Vauxhalls decreased by 4 per cent, and in 2017 Volkswagen overtook Vauxhall to become the second most popular brand. But, from 2009 until 2016, Vauxhall held second place, with at least 10 per cent of registered vehicles belonging to the manufacturer.

Mini was only the 15th most popular brand in the UK in 2021, accounting for 2.76 per cent of registered vehicles – 2.75 per cent less than Vauxhall. Since 2012, however, Mini’s market share in the UK has slowly been increasing, perhaps thanks to BMW’s £750 million investment into UK production between 2012 and 2015.

Despite the overall number of Vauxhalls on the road decreasing over the last decade, the Vauxhall Corsa is currently the UK’s most popular car model. Known for their reliability and popularity among first-time drivers, Corsas make up 2.48 per cent of all registered vehicles in the UK. That’s 0.46 per cent more than Volkswagen Golfs in second with 2.02 per cent.

Historically, Ford has always been the most popular choice among British drivers. From 2001 to 2008, the Ford Focus was the most favoured car with over 5per cent of the market share. This was then overtaken by the Ford Fiesta in 2008 – when over 1 in 20 (5.80 per cent) of registered vehicles in the UK were a Fiesta.

Since then, the Fiesta has gradually decreased in popularity, with the Vauxhall Corsa (2.48 per cent market share), and Volkswagen Golf (2.02 per cent) overtaking in 2021.

Alex Kindred, car insurance expert at commented: “When it comes to getting a quote for car insurance, the type of car you drive is a key consideration for insurers, especially the cost of repairs. Typically, cars made by manufacturers with a higher production rate could be cheaper to insure”.

“This is because parts are much easier to obtain, and therefore makes the overall repair process cheaper. If you’re looking to buy a new car, always research how much it would cost to insure, as you might find that your dream car could cost you significantly more to run”, he concluded.

     List of popular car brands. Credit:


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at