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Motor industry

Research guide

Published: 07 Mar 2019 Updated: 16 Jan 2023 Update History

Exclusive content
Access to our exclusive resources is for specific groups of students, subscribers and members.

Use our industry guide to find key background information, market research, import and export guidelines, statistics, legislation, trade bodies and trade publications.

The Business & Industry Guides series is produced by the Library & Information Service for ICAEW members and ACA students.

We can compile tailored key players reports, mailing lists, market reports, benchmarking reports and industry news. Our enquiry team can also research other industry-specific information, such as taxation, for you. Call us on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or email library@icaew.com.

Trends and forecasts

Manufacturing after Brexit
Updated report from UK in a Changing Europe on where UK manufacturing stands after Brexit. Provides an overview of the various issues that Brexit and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement have raised for manufacturers in the UK. Published 26 January 2022.

Executive survey 2021: Building agility in manufacturing
Survey from Make UK, in association with PwC, exploring what the business landscape will look like for UK manufacturers over the next 12 months. Includes key risks and investment opportunities now that the UK has left the EU. Published 11 January 2021.

Made: In Britain
Podcast series from Make UK where business reporter Jonty Bloom explores what manufacturers need to know to navigate Brexit. Includes how manufacturers can future-proof their workforce and how they can make the most of Britain’s export opportunities around the world. Published in September 2021.

The impact of Brexit on the automotive sector
Report from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee on how the interests of the automotive sector should best be pursued, both in the negotiating process and post-Brexit. Examines a range of issues including tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers, regulation, trade opportunities, skills, R&D and transitional arrangements. Published 28 February 2018.

Market research

Market research reports focusing on this business sector are available from a number of market research specialists. In most cases these reports are available to fee-paying subscribers or on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Some free information is available from the following market research specialists, ranging from industry news to executive summaries of the reports.

A full listing of reference products and research reports on the motor vehicle trade from Euromonitor, with a range of global, country and company level reports. Each report provides a contents listing and a useful executive summary reporting on the key trends in each country report.

Business and industry research specialists offering reports on a wide range of sectors, including motor vehicle manufacturing, new car and light motor vehicle dealers and used car and light motor vehicle dealers. Report snapshots, table of contents and a sample report are available. The company also produces global industry research reports.

Just-Auto (Aroq)
Specialist market research portal from Aroq for the automotive sector including industry news, analysis and research on the global automotive sector. Free access to news, jobs and some articles and features.

A full listing of reports covering the automotive industry, with the option to view the executive summary and a table of contents for each report.


BDO publishes a free Motor 150 Report presenting consolidated accounts of the top 150 companies in the UK motor retail sector with key performance indicators and other statistics and analysis. An archive of previous reports is also available.

Industry news

The Library can carry out industry news searches for ICAEW members and ACA students.

Statistics on the UK

British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA)

The BVRLA compile statistics on member fleets, giving annual figures for rental, contract hire, fleet management, finance lease, contract purchase and personal contract vehicles.

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

The SMMT provides a vehicle data section on its website, which includes summaries and full text reports on the latest monthly car production and registration statistics.

The SMMT also produces the annual publication Motor Industry Facts, which can be downloaded free of charge from the publications page in PDF format. The annual fact book includes statistics for vehicle production, taxation and an economic profile of the UK automotive sector.

Department for Transport

The Department for Transport published Transport Statistics Great Britain, an annual compendium of data. Figures include:

  • vehicle registration and licensing
  • household car ownership
  • driving licence holders
  • annual mileage by car type and trip purpose
  • roads and traffic
  • transport accidents and casualties.

Office for National Statistics

The Annual Business Survey (ABS) from the Office for National Statistics collects financial information covering UK production, construction, distribution and service industries. Statistics available include:

  • number of enterprises;
  • total turnover;
  • approximate gross value added at basic prices;
  • total purchases of goods, materials and services;
  • total employment costs;
  • total net capital expenditure;
  • total net capital expenditure – acquisitions;
  • total net capital expenditure – disposals;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at end of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at beginning of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – increase during year.

The dataset Non-financial business economy, UK: Sections A to S includes statistics for:

  • Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers (29)
    See Section C: Manufacturing
  • Division 45: Wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
  • Renting and leasing of motor vehicles (77.1)
    See Section N: Administrative and support service activities

Statistics on Europe

Insurance Europe

Insurance Europe, the European insurance and reinsurance federation, produces a statistical database which includes data on the European motor insurance market.


Leaseurope, the European Federation of Leasing Company Associations, publishes market trends and research on the European leasing and automotive rental markets. This includes the Annual Statistical Enquiry, Biannual Statistical Enquiry and Ranking of European Leasing Companies.


Eurostat, the EU statistics hub, collates detailed Structural Business Statistics giving the latest figures for industry, construction, trade and services by sector and country. The indicators available include:

  • number of enterprises
  • turnover or gross premiums written
  • production value
  • value added at factor cost
  • gross operating surplus
  • wages and salaries
  • social security costs
  • gross investment in tangible goods
  • gross investment in land
  • gross investment in existing buildings and structures
  • gross investment in construction and alteration of buildings
  • gross investment in machinery and equipment
  • number of employees
  • number of persons employed per enterprise.

Statistics within the database are available for:

  • Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers (C29)
    See database section ‘SBS – industry and construction’
  • Wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (G45)
    See database section ‘SBS – trade’
  • Renting and leasing of motor vehicles (N771)
    See database section ‘SBS – services’

Global statistics


The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) collects and compiles industrial statistics known as INDSTAT, which give information on:

  • number of employees
  • number of establishments
  • output
  • value added
  • total wages and salaries.

Statistics by country are available for:

  • Motor vehicles (3410)
  • Automobile bodies, trailers & semi-trailers (3420)
  • Parts/accessories for automobiles (3430)

UN Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade)

The UN compiles and publishes international import and export statistics in the Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade), giving figures for goods traded by value, quantity and weight for each country.

Statistics are available for:

  • Vehicles other than railway, tramway (87)

UN Industrial Commodity Statistics Database

The UN provides statistics on the quantity of goods produced by country in the Industrial Commodity Statistics Database.

Figures are available for:

  • Road tractors for semi-trailers (49)
  • Public-transport type passenger motor vehicles (49)
  • Passenger cars (49)
  • Trucks (49)
  • Crane lorries (49)
  • Chassis fitted with engines, for motor vehicles (49)
  • Parts and accessories of motor vehicles, other than chassis fitted with engines (49)
  • Trailers and semi-trailers of the caravan type, for housing or camping (49)



The Office for National Statistics publication Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) includes average employment costs within this sector which can be found in Table 14. Average employment costs are provided for full-time employees, part-time employees and all employees.

The data includes average employment costs for:

  • garage managers and proprietors;
  • motor mechanics, auto engineers;
  • vehicle body builders and repairers;
  • auto electricians;
  • vehicle spray painters.

The annual Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES), published by the Office for National Statistics, includes total employee and employment estimates for different industries for Great Britain and the UK. Figures are broken down to show full-time/part-time and public/private splits. The dataset Industry – Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES): Table 2 includes statistics for:

  • Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers (29)
  • Wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (45)
  • Renting and leasing of motor vehicles (771)

Other regions

Please see individual country profile pages for links to sources of national statistics.

Legislation and regulation


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a section on motor vehicle repair (MVR), which includes latest regulations affecting this industry.

Automotive sector and the EU
Guidance from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy for the automotive sector on working with the EU from 1 January 2021.

Moving goods from the EU to Great Britain
Step by step webinars from GOV.UK which focus on the process for moving goods between the EU and Great Britain in multiple languages. Covers the movement of auto parts, cosmetics and textiles. The videos cover movements from Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain from 1 January 2022.

Make UK: EU Hub
Hub from Make UK providing support to manufacturers as the UK develops their new relationship with the EU. Offers information and guidance on key issues to manufacturers including trade in goods, rules of origin, migration, Northern Ireland and market regulation.


Import and export

Trade Tariff

The Trade Tariff is a useful Gov.uk database listing tax, duties and licenses for the import and export of goods between the UK and other countries. The database is searchable by product or commodity code and results can be filtered by date and country. Information also includes links to relevant conditions and regulations.

See import and export information for:

UK business guides

Atom Content Marketing guides

The Start Up Donut from Atom Content Marketing provides practical information on starting up and running a number of small business types. Guides cover a range of areas including market research, current trends, regulations, products and services, promotion and pricing. They include a number of guides for the Automotive sector.

UK key players, ratios and trends

A range of reports on this sector are available to ICAEW members and ACA students via the Library.

UK benchmarking

The Library can supply benchmarking reports to ICAEW members and ACA students.


Reports on this sector can be supplied by the Library to ICAEW members and ACA students.

Trade bodies

Trade journals and publications

Articles and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post or email through our document supply service.

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