Luxury Car Sales in the UK are growing. What are the best selling models?

Britons are known for their refined taste. Elegance is in their genes.  The English gentleman or lady is a great connoisseur of wine, fine arts and fashion. Exactly the same can be said about cars which is why, despite the double dip recession, sales of high end cars is thriving.Mercedes_Benz

In times when brands accross all sectors are struggling, the UK has become in one of the favourte markets for luxury car makers. During 2012, the sales figures for luxury automobiles reached its highest point since the beginning of the economic downturn, and after the results in the first quarter, it seems like 2013 will stay the course. With economic figures clearly showing that the worst of the storm has passed, it is expected that sales growth will increase.

The following tables show the number of cars licensed for the first time during 2012, by make and generic model. The first table contains cars with an average price between £30,000 and £60,000 approximately, while the second table counts cars priced above £60,000.

Position Make Model Units Sold
1 Mercedes C Class 37091
2 Mercedes E Class 23225
3 BMW 5 Series 20515
4 Audi A6 12893
5 Audi A5 12711
6 Jaguar XF Series 11527
7 BMW X3 7682
8 Mercedes SLK 6599
9 Audi Q5 5674
10 Volvo XC60 5319

As you can see, in this price range there are mainly 3 brands that fill most of the positions: Mercedes, Audi and BMW. These brands seem to be the favourite for middle-high class Britons.

Position Make Model Units Sold
1 Land Rover Range Rover 29217
2 Porsche Cayenne 3092
3 BMW 6 Series 2216
4 Porsche 911 2163
5 BMW 7 Series 1272
6 Jaguar XJ Series 1265
7 Bentley Continental 1113
8 Porsche Panamera 974
9 Jaguar XK 738
10 Mercedes SL Class 527

In the range of prices above £60,000 the most popular brands change significantly in comparison to the previous table, although there is a clear winner. In this case it is clear that the favourite makes are Porsche, BMW (which dominates in both price ranges) and Jaguar. However, these numbers reflect what is easy to see on the streets of cities like London or Manchester, Brits love Range Rovers!

If we compare these numbers with those obtained in 2011, we can see that see that for the first price segment, including only the cars in the list, the total amount of sales grew by 24.77%. In the second range, the most expensive one, the sales figure grew by 21.70%

The individual models that improved their results the most were:

  • BMW 6 Series sales grew by 141.92%
  • Mercedes SL Class sales grew by 82.99%
  • Mercedes SLK sales grew by 87.90%
  • Land Rover Range Rover sales grew by 73.05%

Although we don’t have much data to analyse yet, there are already a few things to mention. The first is that the Mercedes C Class stayed among the top 10 best-selling cars in the UK during the first months of 2013. In second place, Jaguar Land Rover reached its all-time high April sales a couple of months ago, thanks to the huge increase in the sales of the Jaguar XF and the new Range Rover.

As the recession slowly fades away from Britain, it is expected that these figures grow even quicker in the next few years.


Miguel Angel Rojas works for Fastlane Paint and Body, an officially licensed bodyshop and repairer that specialises in luxury brands such as Audi, BMW, Porsche or Jaguar. Fastlane operates across all the south-east of England.

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