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Quantity of Luxury Cars on UK roads increases as British car consumers make the most of the economic recovery

Luxury car ownership increases above the rate of the increasing GDP in the UK.

Increase in luxury cars on UK roads has outpaced GDP growth post-recession – with British consumers making the most of economic recovery.

  • Percentage of UK cars which are luxury has increased at a higher rate than GDP since the end of the recession – with an average rise of 3.6% p.a. vs. 2.1%

  • Consumers have taken advantage of recovery since 2010 by spending more on their vehicles – with the proportion of non-luxury cars on UK roads falling by an average of 1% per year

  • More than 1 in 4 cars registered to online parking marketplace JustPark in 2015 were luxury vehicles – compared to 1 in 5 during the recession years

The percentage of luxury cars on UK roads has increased at a faster rate than GDP since the end of the recession – with British consumers making the most of increased financial stability by spending more on their vehicles.

The proportion of UK cars which are luxury has grown by an average of 3.6% year-on-year since 2010 – compared to an average rise in GDP of 2.1% per annum. In contrast, the proportion of non-luxury cars on our roads has declined by an average of 1% per year in the same period.

GDP fell by 0.3% in 2008 and dramatically by 4.3% in 2009 following the financial crisis, but has been climbing steadily since. The proportion of luxury cars on UK roads remained fairly steady during and immediately after the recession, but has increased significantly  year-on-year since 2011 – suggesting increased confidence in the economic recovery.

According to figures released by online parking marketplace JustPark, at present more than 1 in 4 cars on UK roads are classed as luxury – compared to 1 in 5 during the recession from 2008-2009.

Based on the sample of over 600,000 vehicles registered to the parking website, Wokingham has the highest percentage of luxury vs. non-luxury cars – with 36% of vehicles in the town at the higher end of the market, including over 1 in 5 cars being a BMW. Wolverhampton is a close second, with 34% of cars in the West Midlands town classed as luxury. Nearby Solihull has the third largest proportion of luxury car brands in UK, at 31% according to JustPark. London commuter towns also feature highly – with Maidenhead, Guildford, Luton, Newbury Milton Keynes and Croydon all boasting over 25% luxury car brands. In Guildford, over 10% of vehicles are Mercedes – the highest concentration for the German brand in the UK.

Portsmouth is home to the smallest proportion of luxury vehicles in the UK – with just 15% of drivers in the city opting for high end cars. Plymouth has a slightly higher percentage at 16%, with northern cities Bradford and York close behind at 16.5% and 17.5% respectively.

Ford is the most popular car brand in the UK – making up 13.7% of all vehicles – followed by Vauxhall (10.4%) and Volkswagen (10%). BMW is the most prominent luxury car make, with 7.6% of cars in the sample produced by the German manufacturer.