The proportion of luxury cars in the UK has outpaced GDP growth since the end of the recession

Francesca Washtell
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Dresdner Bank
BMW was the most popular luxury car brand according to JustPark's research (Source: Getty)

The proportion of luxury cars on Britain's roads has overtaken the pace of GDP growth since the end of the 2008-2009 recession, according to new research.

British drivers have made the most of the economic recovery and driven up the proportion of plush cars at an average rate of 3.6 per cent per year since 2010, while GDP growth grew at an average of 2.1 per cent annually in the same period and sales of non-luxury cars declined by an average of one per cent per year.

The results, from online parking marketplace JustPark, show one in four cars registered to the site were luxury vehicles, compared with one in five during the recession years.

BMW put its foot on the gas to become the most popular luxury car brand, with eight per cent of cars in the sample of 600,000 vehicles. Meanwhile, Ford was the most popular car brand overall in the UK, making up almost 14 per cent of vehicles in the survey.

Wokingham had the highest percentage of luxury cars in the UK, with 36 per cent of vehicles coming from the higher end of the market, including over one in five cars being a BMW.

Wolverhampton, in second place, had 34 per cent of its cars classed as luxury, shortly ahead of third-place Solihull with a 31 per cent share.

The London commuter towns also featured highly on the list, with Maidenhead, Guildford, Luton, Milton Keynes and Croydon all registering over a 25 per cent share of luxury brands.

In Guildford, over 10 per cent of vehicles were Mercedes, the highest concentration of the German carmaker's vehicles throughout the UK.

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