7 amazing facts about the UK car market

Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Diesel Hatchback 2.2 SD4 Pure 5DR

Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Diesel Hatchback 2.2 SD4 Pure 5DR from FVL

The UK is one of the world’s top ten car markets. As well as manufacturing almost 2 million cars a year, car lease and contract hire drivers are part of a massive new vehicle market which is now the 9th biggest on the planet.

We’ve put together some of the key facts about the UK car market, including the number of cars on our roads, the places we export our vehicles to, and even the environmental impact of new cars. Keep reading for 7 fascinating facts about the UK car industry…

1. 12 per cent of vehicles on the UK’s roads are not cars

According to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) there were 35,760,901 vehicles on the UK’s roads in 2012. This was made up of:

  • 31,481,723 cars (88 per cent)
  • 3,631,595 vans (10.2 per cent)
  • 557,128 trucks (1.6 per cent)
  • 90,355 buses and coaches (0.3 per cent)

The average car on the road in the UK is silver, from the Supermini segment and is 7.6 years old.

2. New cars are 14 per cent more efficient than they were 5 years ago

A new car in 2014 is typically 14.1 per cent more efficient than one in 2009. This means that the average CO2 emission in a car you will buy, lease or contract hire today is, on average, 25.1 per cent lower than it was in 2004.

3. Over 1.5 million vehicles were manufactured in the UK in 2012

The UK was the world’s 14th biggest manufacturer of vehicles in 2012. 1.46 million cars and 112,000 commercial vehicles were built in the UK, a 7.7 per cent rise on the previous year.

The top five cars produced in the UK are:

  1. Nissan Qashqai
  2. Mini
  3. Nissan Juke
  4. Toyota Auris
  5. Range Rover Evoque

4. The UK exports vehicles to over 100 countries worldwide

In 2013, around three quarters (77.3 per cent) of vehicles built in the UK were exported. Just under half of these went to EU countries and the next ten most popular destinations for cars built in the UK were:

  1. China
  2. Russia
  3. USA
  4. Norway
  5. Turkey
  6. South Africa
  7. Switzerland
  8. Japan
  9. Australia
  10. Israel

5. Diesel cars outsell petrol models in the UK

Of the 2.2 million new cars registered in the UK in 2013, 49.8 per cent (1,127,414) were diesel while 48.8 per cent (1,104,592) were petrol.

The remaining 32,731 were alternative fuel vehicles. 79.5 per cent of these were petrol/electric hybrids, 9.5 per cent were diesel/electric hybrids, 7.7 per cent were pure electric cars and 3.3 per cent were plug-in hybrids.

6. The UK is the world’s ninth biggest new car market

Over 81 million new cars were registered globally in 2012 and the UK is the world’s 9th biggest new car market. The top 10 biggest new car markets in the world are:

  1. China – 13,196,128
  2. EU – 12,046,189
  3. USA – 7,248,910
  4. Japan – 4,572,333
  5. Germany – 3,082,580
  6. Russia – 2,935,111
  7. Brazil – 2,851,540
  8. India – 2,654,835
  9. UK – 2,044,609
  10. France – 1,898,760

7. The UK is home to 8 Formula One teams

As well as being home to 8 of the 11 Formula One teams, the UK is also home to:

  • 8 major premium and sports car manufacturers
  • 9 bus and coach manufacturers
  • 13 research and development centres
  • 7 mainstream car manufacturers
  • 7 commercial vehicle manufacturers
  • Over 100 specialist and niche manufacturers

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