Cars lined up

Let’s be honest, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably already got at least a vague idea about which are the most popular cars here in the UK – not least because it’s a topic we’ve covered in some depth fairly regularly here at RAW2K. We see it ourselves: the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra are just two of the most popular examples from our online car auctions that spring to mind, often favoured for their affordability and reliability. 

And it turns out, lots of the UK’s favourite models also have a sizeable loyal market abroad, too. Here are some of the most popular models in our immediate European neighbours! 

Germany – Volkswagen Golf

Ah, the Volkswagen Golf. The name translates in German as “the people’s car (Golf)”, and if its nationwide popularity is anything to go by, it’s very aptly named. The Golf is a favourite model in Germany for much the same reason as it’s one of the best selling cars in the UK – namely, its versatility. 

The Golf's efficient fuel economy and strong performance further contribute to its appeal, especially in a country known for its autobahns. Volkswagen's strong presence and brand loyalty in Germany in particular also play a significant role in the Golf's sales success, complemented by continuous updates and innovations in technology that help to ensure it remains competitive, both at home and abroad. 

Italy – Fiat Panda

When it comes to the Fiat Panda, size does matter. Unlike its ursine namesake, the Panda’s is famously compact and nimble, which makes it well-suited for navigating Italy's narrow streets and tight urban spaces. The Panda's affordability and low running costs also appeal to Italian drivers (no surprise there) especially in a market that normally prioritises budget-conscious choices. 

Its practicality, with a spacious interior and versatile cargo space, also resonates with Italian families and city dwellers alike. And of course, Fiat's strong heritage and presence in Italy also unquestionably contribute to the Panda's success. At more than 120 years old, the brand is deeply ingrained in the country's automotive culture. 

France – Renault Clio

The Clio’s appeal in France has notable parallels with the Fiat’s popularity in Italy, namely that its compact size and manoeuvrability are well-suited for navigating narrow city streets and tight parking spaces, which are common in urban areas across France. What’s more, the Clio's stylish design, fuel efficiency, and competitive pricing make it an appealing choice for French consumers. 

And once again, here comes that crucial national pride element. For well over a century, Renault has been cultivating a strong presence and reputation in the French automotive market, and today that has a major role to play in the Clio's success. Specifically though, Renault's emphasis on local manufacturing and assembly also fosters a sense of national ownership amongst French drivers, further boosting the Clio's sales figures, and solidifying its position as one of the best-selling cars in France.

Ireland – Vauxhall Corsa

Believe it or not, Vauxhall is even older than Fiat or Renault. Both European firms were founded within a few years of 1900, whereas Vauxhall can trace its roots back to 1850s London. That’s given it plenty of time to become one of Britain’s flagship brands – and with Ireland such a close neighbour of ours, it’s somewhat inevitable that drivers across the Emerald Isle would find it an economical and popular option too.  

You might spot a pattern with regards to its popularity – its reputation for reliability, fuel efficiency, and affordability resonates well with Irish consumers, and the Corsa's compact size makes it practical for navigating both urban streets and rural roads, which is essential in a country with varied driving conditions like Ireland. 

That of course is just a sample – and if you’re in the market for a new motor yourself (or even just looking for something to disassemble for parts), you’re in exactly the right place. Here at RAW2K, we hold daily and weekly online car auctions, with models from all of the above manufacturers and more, including Peugeot, Ford and Nissan. There are always bargains to be found – so why not take a look and see what you can find?