The Ultimate List of UK Car Stats 2020

Below you can find the most extensive and up to date list of new & used car stats on the web. We’ve picked the most interesting and useful statistics from various market research so you don’t have to! From new and used UK car sales data to specific stats on electric cars and hybrid cars, this is the only list you will need! 

Our 2020 UK car stats list uses the latest stats available online and none are over 5 years old. This means they are all relevant and help to paint a picture of the current UK car market.

Used Car Stats

These UK used car stats give a good indication of the popularity of used cars across Britain as well as offering reasons for it. Buying new isn’t always the best option for UK buyers.

  1. The UK used car market remained relatively stable in 2019, down just -0.1% (7.9 million transactions) (SMMT, 2020)
  2. A stronger second half of the year helped to balance earlier declines in Q1 & Q2 (SMMT, 2020)
  3. Diesel and petrol sales hold transactions held steady (SMMT, 2020)
  4. The most popular car colour in 2019 was black, followed by silver and then blue (SMMT, 2020)
  5. Top models 2019: Fiesta, Corsa, Focus (SMMT, 2020)
  6. Top 10 regions for transactions: South East, North West, West Midlands (SMMT, 2020)
  7. When Coronavirus hit in Q1 2020, the UK used car market fell -8.3% to 1.8 million transactions (SMMT, 2020)
  8. There was growth in January and February but this was soon followed by a steep -30.7% decline in March as showrooms began to close (SMMT, 2020)
  9. The average age of cars on the road in the UK in 2016 was 7.7 years old (Statista, 2020)
  10. The average sales price of auctioned cars in the UK in September 2015 was £5,588 (Statista, 2020)
  11. Car buyers gave ‘the right car at the right price’ as one of the most important factors when deciding to buy from a particular dealer. (Statista, 2020)
  12. Buyers with a household reference person aged under 30 spent an average of £562 pounds a year on second hand car and van purchases (Statista, 2020)
  13. The age group with the highest average spend was the 50 to 64 year old group, who spent £926 a year on average (Statista, 2020)
  14. The main reason stated for choosing used cars over new cars from buyers was ‘the better affordability of used cars in comparison with new ones’ (Statista, 2020)

Electric Car, Hybrid & AFV Stats

Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles (Electric, Hybrid, Plug-In) continue to grow in popularity in the UK as their price decreases and availability increases. Fuelled by environmental needs, the UK eco car market is flourishing and you can find out exactly how much in this section.

  1. Combined, alternatively fuelled vehicles (hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric) transactions were up emphatically in Q4 2019, increasing 23.4% (SMMT, 2020)
  2. There was a total of 135,516 transactions in Q4 2019 (SMMT, 2020)
  3. This accounted for 1.7% of all used car sales (SMMT, 2020)
  4. Transactions of the latest, cleanest Euro 6 models were up 32.5% in Q4 2019 (SMMT, 2020)
  5. Sales of new electric vehicles rose by 144 per cent in 2019 (Independent, 2020)
  6. The most popular electric car model as of 2019 was the Mitsubishi Outlander P-HEV (Next Green Car, 2020)
  7. Although AFV sales accounted for just 1.7% of all sales in 2019, of those vehicles, 14,112 were full EVs, up 21.8% year on year. (AutoCar, 2020)
  8. There were 89,000 battery electric vehicles (EVs) i  2019, a huge increase on the 55,300 licensed in 2018 (GOV.UK, 2020)
  9. The increase in plug-in hybrid cars (PHEVs) was less sharp, with 145,000 in operation in 2019, compared to 115,500 in 2018 (GOV.UK, 2020) 
  10. The number of mild hybrid cars increased by more than 20% year-on-year, with 514,000 mild hybrids in 2019, an increase of 102,000 on the 2018 figure of 412,000 (GOV.UK, 2020)
  11. The market for used plug-in electric vehicles stayed strong in early 2020 with demand rising 13.6% in the first quarter. (SMMT, 2020)


New Car Stats

What’s better than buying a brand new car? Whilst it’s not always the best option for every buyer, new cars are still very popular in the UK. Find out just how popular and what types of new cars buyers are looking for in this section.

  1. The UK new car market declined by 2.4 per cent in 2019 as annual registrations fell for a 3rd year in a row to just 2,311,140 units (as compared to 2,367,147 new cars registered in 2018) (Vehicle Licensing Statistics, 2019)
  2. 583,488 new diesel cars were sold in 2019 which is a 21.8% decrease compared to 2018 when 746,332 were sold (SMMT, 2020)
  3. Grey was the UK’s favourite new car colour in 2019, having also claimed top spot for the first time in 2018. The number of grey cars registered in 2019 rose 5.3% to 521,273 and meant an increased market share for the colour, with more than one in five new cars (22.6 per cent) sold being grey. (Vehicle Licensing Statistics, 2019)
  4. 60,435 cars were sold to UK businesses in 2019 (companies that operate up to 24 vehicles) which is a drop of 34.4% from 92,095 in 2018 (Vehicle Licensing Statistics, 2019)
  5. 1,232,447 cars were sold to UK fleets in 2019 (companies that operate fleets of 25 or more vehicles). This is a rise of 0.8 per cent from 1,222,850 in 2018 (Vehicle Licensing Statistics, 2019)
  6. 1,018,258 cars were sold to private buyers. This is a fall of 3.2 per cent from 1,052,202 in 2018. (Vehicle Licensing Statistics, 2019)
  7. The UK’s new-car market decreased by 97% in April 2020, falling to levels not seen since 1946, as the coronavirus lockdown closed dealerships across the nation. (SMMT, 2020)
  8. There was only 4,321 new car transactions in April 2020, compared to 161,064 in April 2019 (SMMT, 2020)

General UK Car Stats

The best of the rest. This section details the UK car market as a whole, looking at both new and used stats to help you understand the state of the UK car industry in 2020.

  1. In 2019 the number of diesel cars in Britain fell for the first time in at least 25 years (GOV.UK, 2020)
  2. There were 111,000 less diesel cars on the roads in 2019, compared to 2018 (GOV.UK, 2020)
  3. In 2019, there were 12.29 million diesels cars on UK streets whereas in 2018 there were around 12.4 million (GOV.UK, 2020)
  4. The proportion of diesel cars on Britain’s roads has now fallen for the past two years (2019 & 2018) (GOV.UK, 2020)
  5. After holding a record share of 39.6% in 2017, it reduced to 39.3% in 2018 and 38.5% in 2019 (GOV.UK, 2020)
  6. That was the first decline in diesel numbers since records began back in 1994, when there were just 1.58 million diesel cars licensed (GOV.UK, 2020)
  7. Since fleets and company car drivers were persuaded to choose diesel cars, the proportion of petrol cars has been declining year-on-year (GOV.UK, 2020) 
  8. However, petrol saw its share increase marginally from 58.7% in 2018 to 59% in 2019 (GOV.UK, 2020) 
  9. There were 18.82 million petrol cars on Britain’s roads in 2019, an increase of 319,000 vehicles on the 18.5 million cars licensed the previous year. (GOV.UK, 2020) 


Posted 04/06/2020 Back to Blog

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