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.

Industry facts:

  • Turnover from sales of cars is around 170 billion annually; the Top 200 franchised dealers have a combined turnover of £76.6bn, top 10 NFDA over £30bn
  • The retail side of the automotive turnover generates a turnover of more than £220 billion
  • Around 5 million new and used cars are sold every year through franchised auto retailers
  • UK automotive retail employs more than 540,000 people; in total, around 800,000 people work in the wider UK automotive industry
  • There are currently around 13,000 apprentices in UK auto retail

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.

Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Sector Fact & Figures:

General F&F's

  • The low emission vehicle sector (LEV) recorded a turnover of £6.2 billion in 2019, nearly double the £3.4 billion turnover in 2016 and has increase Increased each year from 2016.
  • Make up ~15% of the total Low Carbon and Renewable Energy Economy turnover (LCREE) in the UK in 2019.
  • The sector is dominated by large businesses - large businesses, with 250 or more employees, accounted for 96.8% of the overall LEV sector turnover and 87.4% of its employment.
  • LEV sector turnover for large businesses has grown by 78.7% (or £2.6 billion) between 2015 and 2019.
  • full-time equivalent (FTE) employment for those businesses increased from 7,700 to 13,900 over the same period.
  • Those businesses now directly employee ~17,000 individuals.
  • For large businesses, the manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers accounted for 58.3% of FTE employment in the LEV sector in 2019, followed by the manufacturing of machinery and equipment (covering 21.6% of FTE employment in the LEV sector) in the same year.
  • In April to June 2021, the number of LEV sector-relevant vocational skills qualifications awarded in England, Wales and Northern Ireland all increased compared with the same period in 2019.

Imports & Exports

  • The UK LEV export market worth stands at£4.4 Billion.
  • The UK LEV import market worth stands at £2.1 Billion.

Vehicle Registrations

  • Battery electric vehicle market share has more than doubled from6.7% in Sept-20 to 15.2% in September 2021.
  • Are currently more than 600,000 Plug-in electric vehicles in the UK.
  • As of sept-21 more than 20% of new cars sold had a plug.
  • 24,537 new registrations of BEVs and PHEVs in the UK, in October 2021.

For an extensive copy of facts and figures relating to the LEV sector, as well as references, please download here.