Lam-boom-ghini! Even as UK car market faces slump, supercars more popular than ever

    • Alex Buttle
    • 31st October 2017
    • 40% more supercars on UK roads than 5 years ago, while the broader UK car market has declined by 9.3%*
    • 69% rise in Ferraris and 54% rise in Lamborghinis registered compared to 2013

    There are 40% more supercars on UK roads than there were five years ago, according to research by car buying comparison site Slowing consumer spending and a declining car market haven’t stalled the rise of the supercar, as the numbers registered to drive on UK roads has increased by almost 8% (7.7%) in the past year alone.

    A new red Ferrari still turns heads, and nothing exemplifies the excesses of the supercar more than a garishly coloured Lamborghini – but just how many supercars are there on UK roads? More than you think. According to research analysing the latest DVLA data, there are over 36,000 supercars currently registered in the UK.

    Pensions Minister Steve Webb joked in 2014 that retirees should be free to spend their pension pots on a Lamborghini if they wanted to. While it’s unlikely many pensioners did spend big on a new Lambo, numbers have risen from less than 800 in 2013 to more than 1,300 on the road in 2017 – an increase of 54%.

    And if you thought an electric supercar would never take off, think again. The BMW i8, the world’s first petrol-electric hybrid supercar, has proved a huge success if UK registrations are anything to go by. There are 1,747 currently registered in the UK in 2017; that’s 14.6% more than last year, and over six times (526%) more than in 2014 (its year of release).

    The following table shows the number of supercars registered to drive on UK roads between 2013 and 2017:

    Supercars on the road 2013-2017
    Cars registered with the DVLA
    Brand 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 YTD
    Aston Martin Aston Martin (DB7, DB9, DB11) 6,256 6,305 6,290 6,336 6,734
    Audi Audi (R8) 2,453 2,616 2,801 3,047 3,341
    Bentley Bentley (Continental, Flying Spur) 11,058 11,763 12,622 13,329 19,963
    BMW BMW (i8) 279 1,000 1,524 1,747
    Ferrari Ferrari (all models) 4,174 5,211 5,692 6,077 6,077
    Koenigsegg Koenigsegg (all models) 1 1 4 6 8
    Lamborghini Lamborghini (all models) 796 828 995 1,112 1,277
    McLaren McLaren (all models) 280 286 350 567 781
    Mercedes Mercedes (AMG G55, G63, GT) 136 221 557 980 1,148
    Porsche Porsche (GT2, GT3) 811 998 1,052 1,170 1,319
    Total supercar registrations 25,819 28,287 30,806 33,168 36,220

    Alex Buttle, director of car buying comparison website, comments:

    “Recent figures revealed that the UK is the supercar capital of the world when it comes to production, with the UK specialist car market set to almost double by 2020**. And while many of these cars head overseas, our research shows that lots are being bought by wealthy UK customers – so don’t be surprised to see more Bentleys, Aston Martins and Ferraris parked up on double yellows in years to come.

    “As the recent Pendragon profit warnings attest, the UK new car industry at large is under huge pressure as low consumer confidence hits sales for regular car makes and models. But Brexit fears and toxin taxes don’t seem to have put the dampeners on the super-rich spending big on supercars.”
    Methodology analysed the most recent Department of Transport data on cars registered in the UK roads by year. considered the following supercars for this research.

    • Aston Martin (DB7, DB9, DB11)
    • Audi R8
    • Bentley (Continental, Flying Spur, Mulsanne)
    • BMW i8
    • Ferrari (all models)
    • Koenigsegg (all models)
    • Lamborghini (all models)
    • McLaren (all models)
    • Mercedes AMG GT
    • Mercedes G Wagon (AMG G55, AMG G63)
    • Porsche (GT2, GT2)

    * The UK new car market declined for a sixth consecutive month in September 2017, with 426,170 new units registered, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Registrations fell by -9.3% in this key month (vs. 2016), as economic and political uncertainty, and confusion over air quality plans led to a fall in consumer confidence.

    ** October 2017 data released from SMMT suggests annual production of specialist, low-volume cars is to hit 52,000 vehicles by 2020 – a 60% rise – provided the right post Brexit conditions prevail.