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UK Insights

Record year for UK new car market

Alex Kuhnel

COO Consumer Intelligence, Kantar Media

Retail 07.01.2016 / 12:00

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We profile British car owners as UK new car registrations beat 2.6 million units for the first time

As the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) announces 2015 was a record year for the UK new car market, with registrations rising 6.3% to hit 2.63 million, Kantar Media TGI profiles British car owners and compares them to the rest of the world.

Firstly, the most popular types of car in the Britain are: Ford (20%), Vauxhall (15%) and Volkswagen (9%). Domestic car brands are thin on the ground in the UK, but in countries where they have an internationally renowned car brand, these tend to be the most popular in their market. So for example, Volkswagen is most popular in Germany, whereas Renault, Peugeot and Citroen are most popular in France, and Fiat is most popular in Italy.

When we ask adults aged 18+ if they are looking to buy a new car in the next two years, 32% of Brits says they are, compared to 33% in Australia, China and France, 29% in the US, 21% in Germany and just 16% in Spain.

Our new car market may be growing, but compared to China, Brits are much less likely to anticipate spending 30,000 Euros or more on a new car. Chinese a huge 41% of those looking to buy a new car would spend the local equivalent of 30k Euros, compared to just 10% of Brits. In other major European markets the figure is even lower, 5% of those looking to buy a new car in Spain anticipate sending more than 30,000 Euros and just 4% in France.

When it comes to the criteria car buyers use to make their choice, price tops the list in Britain, Spain and Germany, whereas in France comfort and safety are more important and in China safety is of particular importance.

Finally, we ask about driving and car ownership and can see that Britain has a far lower number of driving licences and car owners than other major European markets, but higher than in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and China). 64% of adults aged 18+ in Britain have a driving licence, compared to 81% in Germany and the US and 75% in Spain. Young people in Britain are far less likely to have a car or licence than their European counterparts. 39% of 18-24 year olds in Britain have a car and licence compared to 74% in Germany.

Source : Kantar Media

Editor's Notes

Download the full Kantar Media TGI report above, for more information or for an interview, please contact us.

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