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The best-selling car brands in the UK

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Confused.com takes a look at the UK’s most popular four-wheeled friends.

Man handing woman car keys

Assuming you’re reading this in a UK town, city or suburb, take a minute to have a look at the cars on the street outside.

Note cars in driveways, on the curb side, and those driving past. Go on, we’ll wait here while you take a peek...

Back yet? Good, now here are some no-brainer statements:

  • Some of the cars you saw were the same model.

  • Even more were the same make.

  • Few, if any, of the cars were British.

  • Almost certainly, none of them was a Maybach

The reason there’s a good chance that those bullet points are true is because the UK car industry is overwhelmingly dominated by a clutch of well-known brands, each with their own ubiquitous, best-selling models.

The third bullet point is likely to be true because Britain has been out of the domestically-owned, mass-market car game since 1994 (when BMW put Rover on a leash).

These days, "British" car means coach-built enthusiast marques such as Bristol, Morgan, Noble, or kit-car fave, Caterham.

Anyway, here’s the list of the best-selling car brands in the UK, with a little more information on each brand following on.

Top-selling car brands 2008

  1. Ford

  2. Vauxhall

  3. Volkswagen

  4. Peugeot

  5. BMW

  6. Toyota

  7. Audi

  8. Renault

  9. Honda

  10. Citroen

Ford

Parent Company: Ford Motor Company
Nationality: USA
UK Car Models: Ka, Fiesta, Fusion, Focus, C-Max, Mondeo, S-Max, Kuga, Galaxy

Vauxhall

Parent Company: General Motors Corporation
Nationality: USA
UK Car Models: Agila, Corsa, Meriva, Tigra, Astra, Zafira, Insignia, Antara, VXR8

Volkswagen

Parent Company: Volkswagen Group
Nationality: German
UK Car Models: Fox, Polo, Golf, Beetle, Jetta, Passat, Scirocco, Tiguan, Eos, Touran, Sharan, Touareg, Phaeton

Peugeot

Parent Company: PSA Peugeot Citroën
Nationality: French
UK Car Models: 107, 207, 307, 308, 407, Partner Tepee, 4007, 807, Expert Tepee

BMW

Parent Company: Bavarian Motor Works
Nationality: German
UK Car Models: 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, 7 Series, X3, X5, X6, Z4

Toyota

Parent Company: Toyota Motor Corporation Nationality: Japan UK Car Models: Aygo, Yaris, Corolla, Verso, Avensis, Auris, Prius, RAV4, Land Cruiser

Audi

Parent Company: Volkswagen Group Nationality: German UK Car Models: A3, A4, A5, A6, A8, TT, Q5, Q7, R8

Renault

Parent Company: Renault Nationality: France UK Car Models: Twingo, Clio, Kangoo, Mégane, Laguna, Modus, Scénic, Koleos, Espace

Honda

Parent Company: Honda Motor Company Nationality: Japan UK Car Models: Jazz, Accord, Civic, Legend, CR-V, FR-V, S2000

Citroën

Parent Company: PSA Peugeot Citroën Nationality: French UK Car Models: C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, C8, C-Crosser, Pluriel, Nemo, Berlingo, Picasso (C3, Xsara & C4)

Best-selling car models in the UK for 2008

  1. Ford Focus 101,593

  2. Vauxhall Corsa 99,574

  3. Ford Fiesta 94,989

  4. Vauxhall Astra 90,641

  5. VW Golf 65,029

  6. Peugeot 207 53,462

  7. BMW 3 Series 49,384

  8. Ford Mondeo 44,150

  9. Vauxhall Zafira 43,169

  10. Vauxhall Vectra 42,555

One last thing, remember the fourth bullet point at the top of the page, the one that reads, "Almost certainly, none of them was a Maybach"?

Well, that wasn’t some random statement. Sadly for Maybach, their über-luxurious 57 & 62 models, with prices starting at over £250k, were the worst-selling cars in the UK in 2008.

*Data from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

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