About UK Automotive

NFDA is the leading representative body of the UK’s automotive retail car and commercial vehicle dealers; retaining 85% of UK dealers in membership. There are around 4,500 franchise outlets in the UK[1].

Industry facts:

  • UK auto retail turnover is around 193 billion annually (£203bn in 2018)[2]
  • Turnover from sales of cars is around 150 billion annually (£153bn in 2018)[3]
  • Top 200 franchised dealers have combined turnover of £76.6bn, top 10 NFDA over £30bn[4]
  • Pre-tax profit of Top 200 as a percentage of turnover is 1.14%[5]
  • Around 5 million new and used cars are sold every year through franchised auto retailers
  • Franchised auto retail employs 174,000 people
  • UK automotive retail employs 555,000 people (587,000 in 2018); in total, in excess of 800,000 people are employed in the UK automotive industry [6]
  • There are currently around 13,000 apprentices in UK auto retail (12,946 awarding apprentices)[7]


Vehicle registrations (SMMT figures):


New car registrations were 1.63 million in 2020.

A total of 6,752,959 million changed hands in 2020.

There are more than 40 million vehicles licensed in the UK

Plug-in cars reached a total of 175,082 new registrations in 2020, a combined market share of 10.7%.

BEV registrations were 108,205 in 2020, a 185.9% increase.

Light commercial vehicles had 292,657 new registrations in 2020.




[1] ICDP January 2018

[2] Office for National Statistics - Annual Business Survey, 2018 released on 7 November 2019, accessed 14.01.2020

[3] Ibid

[4] Motor Trader Top 200, March 2021 Page 22-23

[5] Ibid

[6] Office for National Statistics - Annual Business Survey, 2018 released on 7 November 2019, accessed 14.01.2020

[7] Information request from the IMI (February 2016)