25 years of car ownership in the UK – Visualised

The British car market has seen some dramatic changes over the last 25 years. Walk down any UK road in 2019 and the brands and models you’ll see parked up in driveways are very different to 25 years ago.

To show just how much things have changed, we’ve visualised data from the DVLA on makes and models on UK roads between 1994 – 2018.

Take a look at the most popular brands over time:

For the specific models, the speed of change is even more apparent:

What to make of all this then?

🇺🇸US brand Ford remains the king of UK roads with its ubiquitous Focus and Fiesta models thriving with sustained numbers. However Escort, Mondeo and Sierra models saw quick declines over the period. Ford’s dominance is beginning to look shakey as competitors from Europe start to take a chunk of market share.

🇩🇪German car manufacturers including Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes and Audi made massive inroads with numbers on UK roads increasing by 156% over this period. It would seem that a growing reputation for build quality, efficiency and safety has convinced more and more Brits to go Deutch.

🇫🇷French brands Peugeot, Renault and Citroen have been consistent over the period, but in recent years that ‘Va Va Voom’ has all but dried up with numbers on UK roads declining by -30% between 2010 to 2018.

🇬🇧As for UK brands, Vauxhall leadership has remained strong, propped up by solid Corsa and Astra sales. The picture for Rover isn’t so pretty – it went from being the second most popular UK car brand in 1994 to total decimation after the turn of the millennium, before barely registering by 2005.

What other stories can you see?  Tweet us @motorwayhq and tell us your views.

Feel free to embed these graphics from Motorway on your website (with a link/ credit back to Motorway.co.uk who produced the graphs)

Credit for the source data to DVLA, 2018.

Motorway launches major marketing campaign, with new TV ad where dealers take centre stage

motorway tv ad 2021

Motorway, the UK’s fastest-growing way to sell your car, has launched a major new campaign spanning TV, OOH, radio and digital. The campaign is the first piece of work from the brand’s new agency line up of Wonderhood Studios and MG OMD, highlighting the range of benefits consumers can get by selling their car the Motorway way.  

The TV ad, directed by Scott Lyon through Outsider, follows the journey of a Motorway customer enjoying the end-to-end Motorway experience for the first time.  As he uploads his car onto the platform whilst relaxing in his bathtub, viewers are given a sneak peek into what happens behind the scenes to get Motorway customers the best deal. 

Set on an actual motorway, car dealers race against each other to reach the car, all bidding to get the best price. The winning dealer performs a daring stunt from his vehicle to collect the car, ultimately resulting in the blissfully unaware customer getting £1,000 more than expected all while in the comfort of his home. 

The TV is supported by radio, social and an OOH campaign launching in September which unveils Motorway’s newly refreshed visual identity.

Lloyd Page, Chief Marketing Officer at Motorway, said:

“The used car market is incredibly buoyant right now with people looking for a fast and easy way to sell their car for a great price. We’ve already helped over 65,000 consumers sell their car for more and this new campaign will now propel our brand awareness to the next level, ensuring anyone in the UK who wants to sell a car knows that there is only one way to do it, the Motorway.”

The campaign launch comes after Motorway announced in June that it had secured £48m in venture capital investment after seeing sales triple over the last 12 months. The company has completed over 65,000 car sales through its website since it started in 2017, with a new sale currently being agreed every 10 minutes.”

Watch the new Motorway TV ad below:

Buckle up! The Motorway tube ad is here

Buckle up Londoners, there’s a new Motorway ad on the tube…

This week we are proud to announce we have launched our first tube ad across London’s underground train network.

The advert features a pink-haired passenger whizzing down the road as she enjoys the rush of comparing prices with Motorway. The ad explains how you might be smarter using Motorway when you sell your car – you could get up to £1,000 more.

We are running the ads London-wide for a couple of weeks this September across every underground line. Look out for them on your commute!

See the Motorway tube ad below:

Buckle up. It's Motorway tube ad
Buckle up. It’s the Motorway tube ad

And here it is spotted in the wild on the Bakerloo line:

Motorway poster on TFL tube
The Motorway tube ad on the Bakerloo line, September 2019

Only seven police forces managed to cut car thefts in 2018

  • Car thefts in City of London fall by a fifth (21%) in 2018 vs 2017
  • Five police forces in England and Wales have seen car thefts more than double in five years

Staffordshire Police recorded the largest increase in car thefts of any police force in England and Wales last year, with crimes up by more than a third (38%) on 2017 figures, according to analysis of GOV.UK data by Motorway.

The latest government data on recorded police crimes*, reveals that, alongside Staffordshire, four other police forces – Bedfordshire (27%), Thames Valley (27%), Surrey (22%) and Durham (20%) – saw car thefts rise by more than a fifth last year vs 2017.

Only seven police forces in England and Wales recorded fewer car thefts in 2018 than the previous year, with the City of London (-22%), British Transport Police (-12%) and Wiltshire (-11%) all reporting double-digit cuts in thefts.

Five police forces – British Transport Police (217%), Surrey (138%), Nottinghamshire (122%), Staffordshire (115%) and the West Midlands (114%) – have seen motor vehicle thefts more than double in the past five years.

Four in ten car thefts in England and Wales during 2018 were reported by the Metropolitan Police (30,752) and West Midlands Police (11,140).

The following table shows police forces recording largest rise and fall in car thefts in 2018.

Police ForceNumber of car thefts in 2017Number of car thefts in 2018% rise in car thefts  2018 vs 2017
Thames Valley2,5743,26526.8
West Midlands9,38611,14018.7
London,  City of7861-21.8
British Transport Police464409-11.9
Avon and Somerset2,476 2,352-5.0

Alex Buttle, director of Motorway comments:

“These troubling car crime figures suggest that over-stretched and under-resourced police forces are struggling to curb the rising number of car crimes, and in particular keyless car thefts.

“Advancements in anti-theft systems do not seem to be discouraging thieves, who are using a variety of ever-more sophisticated techniques to break into and start cars.

“The 21st century thief isn’t using a hammer to smash a window and hotwire a car. They’re armed with wireless transmitters, signal jammers and key programming devices, and can open car doors and start engines in seconds.

“The police can only do so much, and there is a responsibility on drivers, particularly those with highly desirable prestige motors, to check they are not being watched, to keep their car keys in a safe place away from windows and front doors, and to consider fitting a tracking device as an added level of protection.”

typing on keyboard
Smashing a window is passé. Modern car thieves use signal jammers and electronic devices to steal cars.

Notes to Editors


Motorway.co.uk analysed the latest Police recorded crime data on www.gov.uk, updated on 25th April 2019, for 43 out of 44 police forces in England and Wales. Lancashire wasn’t included in the research due to the lack of a complete data set.


N.B. Aggravated car thefts weren’t included in the research.

Used diesel car values drop 6% as ‘Toxin Tax’ and scrappage schemes bite

  • Average value of diesel variants of most popular car models falls by 5.7% in Q3 vs. Q1 2017, while equivalent petrol models increased by 5% comparing same period
  • Diesel variants of some popular cars fell in value by up to 26%
  • Car scrappage scheme announcements and impending toxin taxes to blame for dive in diesel values

London, 11th September 2017 — Data from car buying comparison website Motorway.co.uk has shown a sharp decline in the value of popular diesel cars, with average values down 5.7% in Q3 2017 compared to Q1 2017. Valuations for some of the UK’s most popular diesel models are down by as much as 26%.

Continue reading “Used diesel car values drop 6% as ‘Toxin Tax’ and scrappage schemes bite”

360,000 UK drivers have had their licences taken away for medical reasons

  • In 2019 so far, more than 42,000 people have had their driving licences medically revoked
  • Over 7,000 drivers had their licences revoked because of seizures or blackouts
  • Alcohol (5,450) is the most common reason for a licence to be medically revoked
  • Almost 1,000 domestic vehicle drivers have had licences revoked for sleep conditions, including narcolepsy
  • In the past 18 months, almost 1,000 bus or lorry drivers had their licences revoked due to blackouts or a sleep-related condition

More than 360,000 UK drivers (363,280) have had their driving licences revoked for medical reasons in the past five years, according to DVLA data analysed by Motorway.

Numbers peaked in 2018, with 73,724 driving licences medically revoked. Over 300,000 motorcycle and car drivers (307,414) have had their licences revoked on medical grounds since the start of 2014, while 55,866 lorry or bus drivers have had licences cancelled.

So far this year, more than 40,000 UK drivers (42,467) have had their driving licences revoked on medical grounds.

driving licences revoked on medical grounds after car accident
Accidents involving drivers with medical conditions has risen in recent years leading to a high number of DVLA revocations

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request made to the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) in August 2019 by Motorway.co.uk, reveals that 36,310 car or motorcycle licences (Group 1) and 6,157 lorry or bus licences (Group 2) have been medically revoked in 2019 to date.

Of these, almost two-thirds (65%) of drivers were 50 years old or over. More than 800 teenage drivers (829) have had their licences medically revoked.

Alcohol (5,450) is the most common reason for the DVLA to medically revoke a driving licence. More than 7,000 drivers (7,159) have had their driving licences cancelled this year for seizures or blackouts.

Just under 3,000 motorcycle or car drivers (2,865) have had their licences revoked in the past 18 months for sleep related conditions, including narcolepsy.

And worryingly, DVLA figures on larger vehicles reveal that almost 1,000 bus or lorry drivers (920) have had their licences revoked over the past 18 months because of blackouts or a sleep condition.

If a driver has their licence revoked on medical grounds, they can reapply for their licence once their doctor says they meet the medical standards for driving.

The rules are different if a driver voluntarily surrenders their licence. Under these circumstances, you can drive while your licence is being renewed if; you have the support of your doctor, a valid licence, you only drive under the conditions of the previous licence, you’re not disqualified, your last licence wasn’t revoked and your application is less than 12 months old.

The following table shows the most common reasons why the DVLA revoked a driving licence on medical grounds (2019):

Medical condition Number of licences revoked % of all medical licence revocations
Alcohol 5,450 15.0%
Seizures 5,417 14.9%
Eyesight 4,534 12.5%
Memory problems 4,175 11.5%
Mental health 3,268 9.0%
Neurological 3,041 8.4%
Cardiac 2,228 6.1%
Drugs 1,770 4.9%
Blackouts 1,742 4.8%
Diabetes 1,176 3.2%

The following table shows the number of driving licences medically revoked in the past five years (2014 to 2019 to date):

Year Number of licences medically revoked (Group 1 & 2)
2014 48,941
2015 55,753
2016 72,019
2017 70,376
2018 73,724
2019  (to date) 42,467

Alex Buttle, director of Motorway comments:

“These figures make for quite frightening reading, but they could be just the tip of the iceberg. How many people are driving with a medical condition and haven’t informed the authorities?

You can be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t tell the DVLA about a medical condition that affects your driving, but is that really a strong enough deterrent?

“With so many of us reliant on our cars for work and pleasure, there will be drivers on the road who think it’s worth the risk to keep quiet because handing in their driving licence could mean losing their mobility, their job and not seeing their family and friends.”