Automotive trade between the United Kingdom and its main EU partners

Today, the EU and UK automotive industries are closely integrated from the economic, regulatory and technical points of view.

At the Brexit referendum on 23 June 2016, however, the United Kingdom chose a future outside the European Union. Any changes to the deep integration between the EU and the UK will have an adverse impact on the EU and the UK auto industry, as well as on the European economy in general.

  • 80% of the UK’s car production is exported, of which 54% goes to EU member states.
  • In 2017, the United Kingdom produced 1.75 million motor vehicles, exporting 800,000 of these within the European Union.
  • The other way around, less than 3 out of 10 cars made in the EU are exported (27.4%), with roughly one third of total exports heading to the UK (or 11.7% of total production).
  • The 27 EU member states (EU27) produced 19.69 million motor vehicles in 2017 and exported 2.3 million of these to the United Kingdom − representing 82% of the UK’s motor vehicle import volume, worth €38 billion.

14.1 million auto parts and components, worth €11.4 billion, were imported from the EU27 by the UK in 2017 – representing 78.8% of the value of the UK’s total part and accessory imports. At the same time, the United Kingdom exported 21.7 million auto parts and components to the EU27, with a total value of €4 billion (or 68.3% of the UK’s global part and accessory exports value).

The interactive infographic below provides an overview of motor vehicle trade between the United Kingdom and its six main EU partners (Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Poland, the Netherlands and Italy) in 2017, covering exports and imports of motor vehicles, automotive parts and accessories.

Content type Figure
Vehicle types All vehicles
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