Second only to China and the U.S., Europe is the world’s biggest manufacturer of cars. And, over fifteen million vehicles were registered throughout Europe in 2018, producing the biggest number since 2007. However, Europe is made up of several very different and culturally diverse countries, and just like the food and the languages, car-buying tastes and preferences differ across the continent. We’ve looked at which cars are the best-selling in these European countries, and why.
Norway: Nissan Leaf
Norway is leading the way for electric cars in Europe, with almost one-third of cars sold in 2018 being electric and setting a new world record. The country is striving to take all petrol and diesel vehicles off their roads by 2025, compared to the target of 2040 in the UK. And, there are plenty of incentives for Norwegians to buy electric cars. The Nissan Leaf was followed closely by the BMW i3, Volkswagen Golf, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and Tesla Model X.
France – Renault Clio
When it comes to cars, the French tend to be more patriotic than the rest of Europe and many French drivers tend to support French car brands. In 2018, the Renault Clio was the best selling car for the eighth successive year, followed closely by other French models including the Peugeot 208, Peugeot 3008 and Citroen C3. Overall, French cars amount for over half of the market in France. The Volkswagen Golf is the most popular foreign car.
Spain – SEAT Leon
Spain’s very own SEAT brand leads the way in its home country, with the LEON and the Ibiza being two of the most popular cars for 2018, followed closely by the Nissan Qashqai and Dacia Sandero. But, SEAT hasn’t always enjoyed the number one spot – 2018 was the year that it finally took over from Volkswagen since 2011.
The Netherlands – Volkswagen Polo:
Whilst the end of 2018 was particularly good for the electric vehicle market in the Netherlands with buyers scrambling to get their hands on the 100% electric Jaguar I-Pace ahead of a tax change for premium EV’s, the new Volkswagen Polo was the car to take the top spot from the Renault Clio as the number one car for the year, followed closely by the Kia Picanto and Ford Fiesta. Overall, Volkswagen was the most popular car brand in the country, followed by Peugeot, Opel and Renault.
Italy – Fiat Panda
Italy is another patriotic country when it comes to cars, with the homegrown Fiat Panda being the most popular car in the country for the seventh year in a row in 2018, selling over twice as many as its biggest rival the Renault Clio. However, Italian drivers are also becoming increasingly tempted by a number of foreign cars too, with popular choices including Volkswagen, Renault, Peugeot and Ford increasingly taking over Fiat’s market share.
Wherever you go in Europe, you’re sure to see different trends when it comes to popular car brands. Volkswagen is a popular choice throughout almost all of the continent, and several European countries are taking positive steps towards cleaner roads with electric vehicles.