Best new cars made in Britain

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British owned car manufacturers may be few and far between, but some 1.3 million vehicles are built in the UK every year and the list includes some legendary names

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera

From the retro cool MINI to the mighty Rolls-Royce Phantom, there's a multitude of motors built in Britain.

Our examples below are some of the most well known British made cars, but the UK is also home to a number of smaller, niche manufacturers including Caterham, Ginetta, Ariel, David Brown Automotive, Lister, AC, Eagle GB,

Radical, BAC, Noble, Westfield, Riversimple and LEVC (London EV Company).

1. MINI 

MINI Electric

Cowley, Oxford is the home of MINI production in the UK. The Mark 1 MINI Hatch was the first new model launched by new owner BMW in 2000 and the range has flourished ever since. 

Latest off the production line is the MINI Electric (pictured) – a cool city car that's fun to drive. More importantly, it's kind to the planet and your pocket. 

2. Aston Martin Lagonda

Aston Martin DBX

It's fair to say that Aston Martin has had its ups and downs over the years. Marketed as "the world’s only independent luxury car group", its Chairman is Canadian billionaire and F1 big shot Lawrence Stroll. 

Based across three sites in Gaydon (Warwickshire), Newport Pagnell (Buckinghamshire) and St Athan (Wales), it produces gorgeous sports cars including the DB11 and Vantage, plus the DBX 4x4 (pictured).

3. Nissan

Nissan Juke

Japanese giant Nissan has been building cars at its plant in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, since 1986, and in 2019 the 10 millionth British-built Nissan rolled off the production line. 

Three models are currently manufactured at the plant – the all-electric Leaf, plus pioneering crossovers, the Juke (pictured) and Qashqai. 

4. Bentley 

Bentley Flying Spur

Founded in 1919, Bentley Motors has a proud British pedigree, though it's been owned by Volkswagen since 1998. Today, most of Bentley's luxury models are assembled at the company's historic factory in Crewe, Cheshire. 

The current range includes the all-new Flying Spur (pictured), the Mulsanne, Continental and Bentayga SUV.

5. Land Rover

Range Rover Evoque

Land Rover (along with its prestige sister brands Range Rover and Jaguar) has been owned by Indian automotive giant, Tata Motors, since 2008. 

Manufacturing iconic 4x4s since 1948, the current range includes the Land Rover Defender, Discovery Sport and Discovery, plus the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque (pictured). 

The SUVs are built at Solihull, West Midlands and Halewood near Liverpool.

6. McLaren

McLaren 570GT

Supercar manufacturer McLaren Automotive is based at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey. 

Founded in 1985, the company has been a subsidiary of the wider McLaren Group (Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund is the majority shareholder) since 2017. 

McLaren’s range of cars includes the 540C, 570GT (pictured), 570S, 600LT, 720S and Senna GTR.

7. Vauxhall

Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall Motors claims to be "the UK’s oldest surviving car brand" and its first models rolled off the line in 1903. Owned by France's Groupe PSA (Citroen, Peugeot, DS) since 2017, its spiritual home since 1905 has been Luton in Bedfordshire, which is currently the only light commercial vehicle factory in the UK.

Meanwhile, car production continues at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire, which produces the Astra Hatch and Sports Tourer models.

8. Toyota

Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Now the world's biggest car company, Toyota has two manufacturing plants in the UK – vehicles at Burnaston, Derbyshire, and engines at Deeside, North Wales. 

The first British-built car, a Carina, drove off the Burnaston production line in 1992, followed by the Avensis and Auris. The latest 12th generation Corolla hatchback and estate are currently built there. 

It's also been announced that they will be joined by the Suzuki Swace – a badge-engineered version of the Corolla estate. 

9. Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce Ghost

Arguably the world's most famous luxury car maker, Rolls-Royce can trace its history back to 1906. Owned by BMW since 1998, its cars are built at a state-of-the-art factory in Goodwood, West Sussex. 

The sublime new Ghost (pictured) is the latest model to sport the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy and pantheon grille, joining the Wraith, Dawn, Phantom and Cullinan SUV. 

10. Lotus

Lotus Evora GT410

Like so many iconic British motor manufacturers, Lotus has had a chequered life. Founded by motor racing genius Colin Chapman in 1948, sports car maker Lotus is now owned by Chinese giant Geely. 

Based at Hethel, Norfolk, it's current model-line-up includes the Elise, Exige and Evora (pictured). They will be joined in 2021 by the Evija – the company's first 100% electric hypercar.

11. Morgan

Morgan Motor Company

The Morgan Motor Company has been manufacturing quintessentially British vehicles in Malvern, Worcestershire, since 1909. 

Now in their fourth generation, the Morgan family continue to act as stewards for the brand and retain a financial interest in the firm, alongside majority shareholders, Investindustrial. 

The Morgan range, which includes the 3 Wheeler, Plus Four and Plus Six, is a mix of traditional craftsmanship and modern technology. 

12. Jaguar

Jaguar F-Type

Jaguar (along with its 4x4 sister brands Land Rover and Range Rover) has been owned by India's Tata Motors since 2008. 

The present line-up is manufactured at two plants in the West Midlands – Castle Bromwich and Solihull. Jaguar's models include the XE, XF and XJ saloons, plus the F-Type coupe (pictured) and E-Pace, F-Pace and I-Pace SUVs.

13. Honda 

Honda Civic

Swindon, Wiltshire has been the home of Honda's UK manufacturing plant since 1989 for engines and 1992 for cars. 

Over the years the factory has made the Honda Accord, Jazz and CR-V, and in 2015 it celebrated production of its three millionth car. It currently makes the Civic and Civic Type R. 

Sadly, Honda announced that it's closing its Swindon plant in 2021.

I'm an experienced journalist, digital editor and copywriter, now specialising in motoring. I’m editor of Automotive Blog and have worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online for household names including the BBC, GMTV, ITV and MSN. I’ve produced digital content in the financial sector for Lloyds Bank, Nationwide and the Money Advice Service. I'm married with two children and live near Bath in Somerset.

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