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 200 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 £73bn, 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 590,000 people (587,000 in 2018); in total, in excess of 823,000 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 2.31 million in 2019.

A total of 7,935,105 million changed hands in 2019.

There are more than 40 million vehicles licensed in the UK

Plug-in cars reached 72,584 new registrations in 2019, up 21.15%.

BEV registrations were 37,850 in 2019, a 144% increase.

Light commercial vehicles had 365,778 new registrations in 2019.

Pick-ups reached 53,055 new registrations in 2019.

[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, Dec 2018 / Jan 2019 Page 33

[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)