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New study reveals the UK's most endangered cars and bikes

  • Three cars share the top spot as the UK’s most endangered cars, the Austin Montego, Fiat Regata and Lada Samara, with a 99.98% decrease in vehicles over the last 25 years[1]  

  • Zastava Automobiles is the car manufacturer most endangered in the UK, with only 17 cars left on the road in 2020, a 99.94% decrease from 1995[1] 

  • The Honda SA50J is the most endangered motorbike in the UK, with a total 99.41% decrease in bikes, from 5,272 in 1995 to 31 in 2020[1] 

  • Uswitch.com’s guide to the UK’s most endangered cars can be viewed in full here

The Austin Montego, Fiat Regata and Lada Samara are the UK’s most endangered cars, according to new research from Uswitch.com, the comparison and switching service[1]

The research analysed Department for Transport and DVLA data to find out which vehicles have seen their numbers drop the most in the last 25 years.

The UK’s disappearing cars

1Austin Montego32205,283-99.98%
1Fiat Regata314,549-99.98%
1Lada Samara1144,982-99.98%
4Hyundai Pony726,888-99.97%
4Vauxhall Belmont1647,298-99.97%
6Austin Maestro90 231,824-99.96%
6Datsun Stanza512,570-99.96%
6Zastava Yugo1127,123-99.96%
6Nissan Stanza511,957-99.96%
10Austin Metro289572,974-99.95%

Three vehicles share the title of the UK’s most endangered car[1]. One is the Austin Montego, which was a regular feature on our roads and driveways during the 80s and 90s. Over 200,000 models were registered in 1995, compared to 2020 when just 34 remain[1] meaning 99.98% of Montegos have vanished in the last quarter of a century[1]

The Fiat Regata is another small family car from the 80s[1]. While the Regata wasn’t quite as prevalent on our roads back in 1995, its numbers have dropped at a similar rate, with just three surviving, from nearly 15,000 25 years ago[1].

Finally, the Lady Samara is the last of the three most endangered cars, there were around 45,000 of these Soviet-produced family cars on the market in 1995 but only 11 survive on the roads today[1].

The UK’s disappearing car brands

1Zastava Automobiles1727,340-99.94%
4Fabryka Samochodów Osobowych239,276-99.75%
8Austin32,952 32,952 1,223,360-97.31%

Zastava is one of many state-owned Central and Eastern European brands that have all but disappeared over the past 25 years[1]. The Serbian manufacturer had over 27,000 cars in Great Britain in 1995, but since they were acquired by Fiat in 2008[4], that number has fallen to just 17, ranking them the most endangered brand in the UK[1]

Perhaps the best-known of the Eastern European manufactured brands that populated our streets back in the day - Lada - take second place with over 100,000 of the vehicles in Britain in 1995[1]. The brand pulled out of most overseas markets in the post-Soviet era[3], meaning that there are just 163 left today[1], although they’re still going strong in native Russia (albeit under the control of Renault[5]).

The UK’s disappearing motorbikes

1Honda SA50J315,272-99.41%
2Honda NE50T1164-99.39%
3Honda NB50M223,105-99.29%
4Honda NH125MD4518-99.23%
5Honda MTX50S2237-99.16%
6Honda MTF50S2224-99.11%
7Honda SA50M111,181-99.07%
8Honda NT50F3306-99.02%
9Bajaj KB 100191-98.90%
10Honda NE50M907,825-98.85%

It’s the Honda SA50J that takes the top spot for ‘most endangered’ motorbike, having seen its numbers dwindle by 99.41%[1]. There are now just 31 of these scooters left in Great Britain, down from over 5,000 in 1995[1].

Second place goes to a very obscure model, given that there were only 164 Honda NE50Ts on the roads in 1995[1]. There is just one sole survivor today, meaning that their numbers have dropped by 99.39% in the last two and a half decades[1].

Joel Kempson, car insurance expert at Uswitch.com comments: “Although some of these vehicles have declined significantly in numbers, there are numerous reasons why certain makes and models are becoming extinct. 

For example, rapid technological innovations help to continuously improve vehicle features and safety. Additionally people choose to switch from older models to to lower running costs or reduce emissions.

“In the future, we could expect to see petrol and diesel vehicles to become few and far between  as the country switches to electric and hybrid alternatives in an effort to lower carbon footprint. 

Many car manufacturers are still behind when we consider the level of innovation we see from Tesla and Toyota in the electric and hybrid market, perhaps making a few brands worried they may be heading for the same fate as Zastava.”

You can view Uswitch’s full list of endangered cars and motorcycles here.


Leoni Moninska
Email: leoni.moninska@rvu.co.uk
Twitter: @UswitchPR

Notes to editors:
1. All figures were sourced from Department for Transport and Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency data (Licensed vehicles by make and generic model name: Great Britain and United Kingdom).We took the number of licensed vehicles for each model from Q3 2020 and Q4 1995 and calculated the difference between the two. Commercial vehicles were omitted, as were results that seemed to be errors in the dataset (for example car brands being listed as motorcycles). When looking at brands as a whole, we also included figures for vehicles where only the brand was known, not the specific model.Note that data for vehicles registered in Northern Ireland was unavailable for 1995, so the figures refer only to England, Scotland and Wales.
2. Specific to Rover branded cars3. Specific to Opel branded cars4. Zavasta was acquired by Fiat in 2008 and filed for bankruptcy in 2017.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zastava_Automobiles
5. Lada pulled out of most overseas markets in the post-Soviet era https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AvtoVAZ_vehicles_in_international_markets
5. Lada pulled out of most overseas markets in the post-Soviet era https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lada

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