The Compare the Market Automotive Index

The most popular and in-demand cars of 2021
Cars come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny city cars to SUVs that dominate the streets, but which are the most in-demand in 2021?

To find out, we’ve analysed some of the most popular makes and models on the following indicators:

Google search volume

Increase in Google search

Instagram followers

Instagram engagement rate

Instagram mentions

Number of licensed vehicles in the UK

So, which are the most in-demand in the UK, and how does this look around the rest of the world as well?

The most in-demand car brands: ranked

1

@bmwireland

BMW

One of the world’s most famous vehicle brands takes the top spot, with BMW’s luxury cars scoring highly across the board.

The German brand had by far the most mentions on Instagram, with 59.7 million and also posted big numbers when it came to their Instagram following (31.1 million), Google searches (48.2 million since the start of the year) and increase in searches (up 7.4% in the last six months).

2

@firehuntah

Tesla

A relatively new and disruptive name in the automotive industry, Tesla certainly has people talking with its electric vehicles.

Tesla was actually the highest scoring brand in the world when it came to both year-to-date Google searches (67.1 million) and Instagram engagement rate (3.5%) which is especially impressive given that accounts with larger followings generally struggle to maintain a strong rate of comments and likes.

3

@terryreilly24

Mercedes-Benz

While Mercedes-Benz could only manage third in our overall ranking, they take the crown as the most followed brand, with 33.1 million, just edging out their rival Germany luxury brand, BMW.

While they’re clearly excelling in the digital age, Mercedes-Benz has been around since 1926 and even has its roots in the first-ever vehicle to be propelled by a combustion engine in 1886.

Rank

Brand

January-June
2021 Searches

Six-month
search
increase/
decrease

Instagram
Followers

Instagram
mentions

Instagram
engagement
rate

Current
licensed
vehicles in
the uk

Automotive
Score / 10

The car brands with the biggest social media following

Most followed

33.1m

Instagram
followers

@mercedesbenz

Mercedes-Benz

It goes without saying that Mercedes-Benz is a huge brand, but did you know that they’re the most followed automotive maker on social media? Narrowly beating out other brands such as BMW, they have 31.1 million followers on Instagram as of August 2021.

Most tagged

59,681,717

hashtag
mentions

@bmw

BMW

Whether it’s their own personal car or just admiring their dream model, people love to post pictures of cars on social media and the most popular are BMWs, with just shy of 60 million posts on Instagram mentioning the brand using hashtags.

Best for engagement

3.5.%

engagement
rate

@tesla3northants

Tesla

A social media account’s engagement rate is the percentage of its followers that like or comment on its posts, so naturally, the more followers that a brand has, the harder it is to keep that percentage up, which makes Tesla’s rate of 3.5% pretty impressive, given that they have 8.5 million followers to keep happy.

The vehicle brands rising in popularity

Having looked at which brands have seen the most Google searches since the start of the year, we also compared this against the previous six months to see which brands are enjoying the biggest rise in interest at the moment.

1

14.61%

search
increase

@subaru_usa

Subaru

The brand that saw the biggest six-month increase in searches was Subaru, with 14.61%. Subarus aren’t among the most popular brands in the West but have a dedicated fan base due to their signature engine and drivetrain, as well as their off-road capabilities.

2

14.26%

search
increase

@elonmuskmydude

Tesla

Tesla has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the last decade and that looks to be continuing into 2021. Much of the interest around Tesla however has surrounded the continued financial success of the company itself, just as much as it has around the innovative cars that they’re producing.

3

11.93%

search
increase

@dacia_uk

Automobile Dacia

Dacia is a brand known for its affordable vehicles but is clearly growing in popularity, with searches increasing by 11.93% in the last six months. This was likely helped in some part by the success of the Dacia Sandero, winning What Car?’s Car of the Year award for 2021 in January.

Each country’s favourite car brand

As well as finding out which car brands were the most popular here in the UK, we also wanted to see which were the most sought after in each country around the world.

Here’s a breakdown of the most searched for brand in each country, with some fairly varied and surprising results!

The most popular globally was Toyota, which came out as the preferred brand in 46 nations around the world, although Tesla wasn’t far behind, as the favourite in 41 places, including the US, UK, Germany and Canada.

Other popular brands included Mercedes-Benz (16 countries), BMW and Hyundai (both 13 countries) although there were also some interesting regional variations such as the likes of Renault, Tata Motors and Dacia proving popular in their home regions, while some countries, such as the Philippines and Venezuela searched more for luxury brands, for example, the Lamborghini and Ferrari respectively.

Key
Toyota Tesla Mercedes-Benz BMW Hyundai Honda Chevrolet Wolkswagen Lexus Renault Lamborghini Tata Motors Suzuki Audi Dacia Ferrari Skoda Jaguar Maserati Maruti Suzuki Dodge No Data
Your browser does not support SVG
1
Toyota

Favoured In

46

Countries

List
2
Tesla

Favoured In

41

Countries

List
3
Mercedes-Benz

Favoured In

16

Countries

List
4
Bmw

Favoured In

13

Countries

List
4
Hyundai

Favoured In

13

Countries

List
4
Honda

Favoured In

9

Countries

List
7
Chevrolet

Favoured In

5

Countries

List
7
Volkswagen

Favoured In

5

Countries

List
9
Lexus

Favoured In

4

Countries

List
10
Renault

Favoured In

3

Countries

List
10
Lamborghini

Favoured In

3

Countries

List
12
Tata Motors

Favoured In

2

Countries

List
12
Suzuki

Favoured In

2

Countries

List
12
Audi

Favoured In

2

Countries

List
15
Dacia

Favoured In

1

Countries

List
15
Ferrari

Favoured In

1

Countries

List
15
Skoda

Favoured In

1

Countries

List
15
Jaguar

Favoured In

1

Countries

List
15
Maserati

Favoured In

1

Countries

List
15
Maruti Suzuki

Favoured In

1

Countries

List
15
Dodge

Favoured In

1

Countries

List

The most in-demand car models: ranked

1

@_olxng_

Ford Fiesta

As the most common vehicle in the UK, it’s perhaps no surprise to see the Ford Fiesta take its place as the UK’s most in-demand car.

Over 1.5 million people drive a Fiesta in the UK, which puts the majority of other models to shame, with only the Ford Focus coming close in terms of current registrations.

2

@landrover

Land Rover
Range Rover

The Land Rover Range Rover has been possibly the best-known 4x4 on the market ever since it launched back in 1970, and is clearly going as strong as ever in 2021.

The main reason the Range scores so highly is the fact that it was by far the most searched model, with over 21.5 million people Googling them since the start of the year.

3

@honda

Honda Civic

Another vehicle that has been around for years, the Honda Civic takes third place, with over 17.6 million Google searches in the year to date, over 4.2 million mentions on Instagram and over 340,000 models currently registered on the roads of the UK.

Rank

Model

January-June
2021 Searches

Six-month
search
increase/
decrease

Instagram
mentions

Current
licensed
vehicles in
the uk

Automotive
Score / 10

The car models rising in popularity

As with brands, we also wanted to see which were the individual vehicle models that have seen the greatest increase in interest in the last six months.

579.82%

search
increase

@ford

Ford Maverick

At first glance, the incredible 579.82% increase in interest for the Ford Maverick may seem hard to believe, but there’s a good reason for this. The Maverick as we know it today is a classic car from the 1970s, of which just 867 currently exist in the UK, however, in July, Ford announced that they are relaunching the nameplate next year as a compact pickup truck.

52.63%

search
increase

@cupra_official

Cupra Formentor

The Formentor is the flagship model of SEAT’s sportier spinoff brand, Cupra, and enjoyed a 52.63% increase in searches in the last six months. Having launched toward the end of 2020, the word is clearly starting to get out about this compact crossover SUV.

41.79%

search
increase

@dacia_uk

Dacia Sandero

As previously mentioned, it’s been a good six months for the Dacia Sandero, scooping What Car?’s prestigious car of the year award in January, which in turn saw interest increase by 41.79%.

The world's biggest motoring influencers

Every industry has its social media stars these days, and motoring is no different, so who are the major players in the world of car influencers?

We’ve analysed the social followings of some of the biggest names on Instagram and YouTube, as well as looking at how much they could potentially earn per sponsored post or video too.

1

£25,577

Average Estimated
Earnings per Post

@supercarblondie

Supercar Blondie

Alexandra Mary Hirschi is better known as Supercar Blondie and is one of the world’s biggest motoring influencers, with over 15 million followers across her Instagram and YouTube accounts.

Born in Australia but based in the United Arab Emirates, she’s one of the few female voices in a very male-dominated industry and clearly is making waves as one of the fastest-growing channels, with potential earnings of £21,743 per post on Instagram and £3,835 per YouTube video.

2

£8,781

Average Estimated
Earnings per Post

@chrisfixit

ChrisFix

While Supercar Blondie’s channel is all about giving you an insight into the high-end world of supercars, the second influencer on our list is all about offering practical advice to motorists.

He has an incredible 8.1 million subscribers on his YouTube channel which gives easy to follow, step-by-step instructions and tutorials on all manner of car jobs.

3

£6,997

Average Estimated
Earnings per Post

@mannykhoshbin

Manny Khoshbin

As well as being a real estate investor and entrepreneur, Manny Khoshbin loves cars and has spent his hard-earned money on filling his garage with expensive and beautiful cars from around the world.

Millions of people follow Manny on social media to check out his growing collection and follow his progress.

Rank

Name

Instagram
Followers

Estimated
Instagram
Earnings per Post

Youtube
Subscribers

Estimated
YouTube
Earnings per
Video

Combined
followers

Average estimated
earnings per post

Methodology

We ranked some of the world’s biggest car brands and models on the following factors, giving each a normalised score out of ten before taking an average score across all factors to reveal the top 50.