When it comes to quality, the Brits know a thing or two about how to deliver. The automotive industry is no exception and we’re proud to help thousands of drivers a year get behind the wheels of British-made vehicles. So, what are the most popular British cars? Read on as we take a look at some of the top manufacturers and models on offer.


The iconic silhouette, signature “go-kart handling” and fun-loving spirit make the MINI one the most popular British cars. The company was founded in the 1960s and has become quite the national icon, despite now being owned by German auto giant BMW. This description from the MINI website sums up the essence of the brand, and its eternal popularity, perfectly.

“One of the most remarkable elements of the Classic MINI’s popularity was how its infectious spirit transcended traditional class barriers. From hipsters and mods to milkmen, rock stars and royalty to rally racers. Everyone could have efficiency, fun and freedom, motoring in a MINI.”

Hoping to go electric? You’re in luck. MINI has just launched an all-electric model that combines all the best-selling features of the classic MINI with the latest battery technology. The driving range is impressive, with a full charge offering around 145 miles. Expect plenty of torque – the MINI Electric will take you from 0 to 62mph in just over 7 seconds. Basically, you’ll enjoy all the fun with zero exhaust emissions.

With prices starting at just over £30,000, it’s no wonder the all-electric MINI is one of the most popular British cars. Want to zip around in a MINI Electric? Use our calculator to get a car finance quote and discover how far your budget can take you. 

Rolls Royce

In terms of luxury, it’s hard to look past Rolls Royce. Every one of these popular British cars is hand built at the Rolls Royce headquarters in Goodwood, West Sussex. And we’re not just talking about any old auto manufacturing plant. The Rolls Royce HQ was designed by renowned British architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and is set in the heart of South Downs National Park.

The award-winning building was designed to complement the picturesque West Sussex countryside while minimising the brand’s environmental footprint. Grimshaw has done an incredible job and it’s really no surprise, seeing as his previous accomplishments include the Eden Project in Cornwall. There’s also a sentimental side to the location – company founder Sir Henry Royce once lived less than 10 miles from the site, in a chocolate-box village called West Wittering.

Natural light floods into the Assembly Hall through floor-to-ceiling windows. This part of the building is known as “The Glass Mile” and gives prospective buyers front row seats to the action. Overhead is a “living roof” with an enormous eight-acre footprint. It’s one of the largest in the UK and not only looks beautiful but helps to insulate the building and keep energy costs down as these popular British cars are made. More than 60% of all waste from the production plant is recycled, while all green waste is composted.

Here’s a fun fact. All the wood used in the interior of an individual Rolls Royce is sourced from a single tree. This helps maintain consistency throughout the cabin and avoid obvious differences in colour, texture and grain. We’re not all that surprised, seeing as Sir Henry Royce’s motto is famously “strive for perfection in everything you do”. Of course, all wood used for these popular British cars is sustainably sourced.

Land Rover

A favourite vehicle of Queen Elizabeth II, Land Rovers deserve a special place on our countdown of the most popular British cars. Over the course of her life, the beloved monarch owned dozens of the vehicles and was often pictured driving them around her various estates.

While Land Rover has shifted some manufacturing to other countries over the past decade, the majority of production remains in the UK. Currently, the brand operates factories in Solihull near Birmingham and Halewood near Liverpool. Both plants support the British economy and help keep the Land Rover legacy alive in the UK.


Toyota operates factories in countries around the world, including Britain. The main factory is located in Burnaston, a small village in South Derbyshire. Toyota also assembles engines in its Deeside factory in North Wales. The company has had a manufacturing presence in the UK since 1989, with the first model rolling off the Burnaston production line in 1992. Today, the factories are proud to manufacture the next-generation Corolla hybrid, which is sure to emerge as one of the most popular British cars of the decade.

Sporty and powerful, this hatchback gives you the option of using battery-generated power, petrol or a combination of the two. As well as saving money at the forecourt, you’ll also be slashing your environmental footprint.


Nissan may be a Japanese-owned company, but it manufactures several popular British cars in local factories. The auto giant recently injected £1 billion into its Sunderland car plant and created hundreds of British jobs. So, what popular British cars roll out of the Sunderland factory? Models like the Qashqai and Juke are manufactured at the British plant. The hugely popular all-electric Nissan Leaf is also assembled in Sunderland.

Production is booming, so much so that Nissan recently overtook Jaguar Land Rover as the largest carmaker in the UK. Kwasi Kwarteng has confirmed the company has no plans to slow down manufacturing in the UK. In fact, they’ll be doing the opposite. “Not only are Nissan staying put, they are doubling down,” says Kwarteng.

As well as manufacturing existing popular British cars, Nissan plans to develop a state-of-the-art electric vehicle manufacturing hub in Northern England. “This is a real vote of confidence in Sunderland from our parent company in Japan and will really reaffirm Sunderland’s reputation as a world-class manufacturer,” says vice-president of Nissan motor manufacturing UK, Alan Johnson.

Buy British with car finance

Whether you’re in the market for a cult favourite like a MINI Cooper, a luxury model like a Land Rover Defender or a family-friendly ride from Nissan or Toyota, you’ll find popular British cars right here on your doorstep. When you buy British, you can enjoy the peace of mind you’re investing in quality craftsmanship, as well as supporting the local economy and keeping jobs onshore.

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