Vehicle trends in Europe 2024: European automotive trends

Paris, France. By Shutterstock

Trends shaping the European vehicle industry in 2024: What cars are most demanded in Europe?

The 1990s and early 2000s sci-fi movies pictured the cities of the future with self-driving flying cars. Not sure about flying ones, but we already have driverless cars, and most of us are not afraid of them. Of course, the future in the movies looks more digital and apocalyptic, but everything is possible with such a rapid evolution of AI. 

Car wheels close up view from the asphalt level.
Car wheels. Image generated by AI.

From the expensive, not-so-practical cars of the 1900s to the electric cars of 2024, the evolution of vehicles is really impressive. But today we will talk about the present and the future of cars rather than their past. Let’s narrow our research and stick to vehicle trends in Europe: what people drive, what people will drive, and where the industry is going. 

European Automotive Industry in 2024

The European automotive industry remains a significant economic powerhouse, despite all the challenges and radical changes in recent years. It’s hard to make long-term perspectives, so let’s have a look at insights and trends shaping the sector in 2024.

  • The slowdown the industry experienced in 2023 was replaced by skyrocketing numbers, including a 12.1% increase in car registration. At the same time, by 2035, the demand is predicted to slow down due to Europe’s aging population. 
  • In 2024, battery electric vehicle sales (BEVs) increased by 28.9%. The four largest markets are Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and Germany.
  • Many European countries have implemented government incentives like tax breaks and subsidies to encourage electric vehicle adoption.
  • The diesel car market faced a 4.9% decline in the EU, particularly in France, Spain, and Italy. On the other hand, diesel car sales surged by 4.9% in Germany. 
  • The transition to electric vehicles will require significant investments in infrastructure and charging networks.
  • There’s a growing focus on sustainability within the industry. It means manufacturers are now more focused on developing more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles.

Vehicle trends 2024 per country

We’ve had some general talks about trends; now let’s walk the streets of some European countries and see what cars are trending. See what cars are in most demand in Europe.

P.S. You may not find luxury cars on this list because they are always there. Instead, we will focus on practicality, comfort, and budget options. 

Vehicle trends in the United Kingdom

The challenging year 2023, which brought a shortage of vehicles and production issues, is over, and 2024 will bring new vehicles. However, demand will continue to lag behind production volumes. The used car market is expected to grow compared to the new vehicle market.

Summing up, let’s see what cars create traffic in the United Kingdom.

Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage Crossover's hybrid version.
Kia Sportage Crossover’s hybrid version. Source:

The 2022 hybrid family crossover, with a 1,6 petrol engine, electric motor, and battery capacity of 13.8 kWh, is so far the most frequently seen vehicle, and there are many reasons why. It is practical, spacious, economical, and stylish. Okay, I’m buying it!

Ford Puma

Following the popular Focus and Fiesta, the Ford Puma is the second most frequently seen vehicle for being one of the most practical SUVs in its class. Under the hood, it offers a choice of fuel-efficient 1.0-liter EcoBoost engines with up to 155 horsepower, ideal for city driving and highway cruising.

Nissan Qashqai

A perfect combination of comfort and capacity, plus it is a crossover for any road. The smooth ride is powered by a fuel-efficient 1.3-liter turbocharged petrol engine, offering super economy. 2021 models also offer a hybrid e-Power engine for the super economy. 

Vehicle trends Germany

While we continue to praise German car manufacturing as the best, the industry continues to lose its competitors in e-mobility. And because most brands are still petrol-fueled (and we love the “real” cars), Germany has the least number of electric cars. Manufacturers have already started adapting to the new reality by offering hybrids and electric versions of oh-so-loved models. 

German cars race the roads of the world, and which cars are racing the roads of Germany? 

Volkswagen Golf

VW Golf GTI 2024
VW Golf GTI 2024. Source:

This year, a top favorite in Germany is the VW Golf, known for its practicality and reliability. With a recent model update in 2024, it will remain the best choice. It offers a variety of engine options, including efficient gasoline and plug-in hybrid version that ideally meets the growing demand for electric vehicles.

Skoda Octavia

The Skoda Octavia may not be a frequent guest in your country, but in Germany, it is a strong contender, offering excellent value. It’s expected to remain popular with families and those seeking a practical and comfortable car.

BMW 3 Series

Who said we’ve forgotten about our all-time favorite BMW? This year, it’s going to be the 3 Series for a dynamic driving experience and a luxurious interior. With the recent focus on electric vehicles, a plug-in hybrid version of the 3 Series will also contribute to its popularity in 2024.

Vehicle trends in France

Unlike other European markets that have seen a decline, France had a strong start in 2024, with growing numbers secured for the rest of the year. By the way, the market’s largest share is SUVs, with a market value of €17.7bn. 

The Renault Scenic E-Tech and Renault Clio

Renault Scenic E-Tech
Renault Scenic E-Tech. Source:

Renault Clio, the favorite of the French market, is sharing its fame with another model, the Renault Scenic E-Tech plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, designed for families and those seeking a comfortable ride. Renault Clio will keep its popularity due to its compact size and fuel efficiency.

Peugeot 208 and e-208

Peugeot entered 2024 with a practical and stylish hatchback. It is the fully electrical version of the already popular Peugeot 208 (by the way, the classy 208 is also a top choice). Both versions are super savvy and comfortable, ideal for eco-conscious drivers. 

Citroen C3

A strong competitor of Renault and Peugeot (funny to hear you reading names like they are written) is another hatchback with a focus on comfort and competitive pricing. 1.2-liter PureTech petrol engines will not give you the desired speed but will provide a good balance of performance and fuel efficiency.

Vehicle trends in Spain

2024 started positively for the Spanish automotive market. The sales registered a 9.9% increase in both the new and used car markets. 

Seat Ibiza

Seat Ibiza
Seat Ibiza. Source:

This subcompact hatchback, known for its affordability, fuel efficiency, and sporty handling, is ideal for Spanish roads. Most popular among the younger generation, it gives a fun driving experience with sports vibes. 

Dacia Sandero

Another budget-friendly option amid petrol price in Sandero at an incredible value. It turns out that Sandero is quite popular in European countries. It has surprisingly good interior space and fuel efficiency. Still, it lacks modern technologies (well, the price speaks for itself). 

Peugeot 208

From France to Spain, Peugeot continues to be the top choice in its segment with modern design, comfort, practicality, and economy. 

Vehicle trends in Italy

Alfa Romeo Tonale, Maserati Grecale, Ferrari Roma, Lamborghini Urus—those names sound like a melody, but let’s get back to reality and the cars we, most probably, can drive. 

The Italian market has seen a major increase in electric cars in a year, but the significant growth of the automotive market is still on behalf of gasoline-engine cars. 

Fiat Panda

Fiat Panda
Fiat Panda. Source:

Fiat is leading the Italian market for being affordable and extremely maneuverable (which is critical for narrow roads). For its size, it is a top choice for big cities, while fuel efficiency makes it a great companion for long drives to Positano. 

Dacia Sandero

The Dacia Sandero is the champion of affordability, offering incredible value for money and surprising space in a hatchback package.

Citroen C3

Citroen won its place for being stylish and affordable, leaving in the dust Ford and Audia of the same segment. 

Vehicle Trends in the Netherlands

Finally, in the Netherlands, we will see electric cars dominating. In January 2024, EV sales outpaced traditional petrol and diesel cars, registering a 64% increase in battery-only and a 21% increase in hybrid vehicle registration. 

Volvo XC40 and XC40 Recharge

Volvo CX 40
Volvo CX 40. Source:

The Volvo XC40 and XC40 Recharge are subcompact luxury SUVs that stand out for their blend of safety, comfort, and technology. The models are packed with advanced technologies and have premium designs, available in fuel-efficient gasoline engines and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain options. 

Kia Picanto

Though electric cars are trending, the Kia Picanto is still one of the leading models in its segment for its affordability, fuel efficiency, and compact size. 

Hyundai i10

The Hyundai i10 is the competitor of the Kia Picanto, sharing the same features, plus it comes in a very stylish and modern design. 

Vehicle trends in Poland

Toyota Corolla
Toyota Corolla. source:

The Polish automotive market had a promising start, with a 22.1% increase in sales. The market is still shared between European and Asian brands, both in budget and premium segments. 

Toyota Corolla

A well-established model is, so far, the leader in the Polish market and on roads that provide a reliable driving experience with gasoline and hybrid powertrain options. 

Toyota Yaris Cross

If the sedan is not your type but you still want Toyota, the Polish market offers another popular option, the Yaris Cross compact SUV with a higher ride height, more space, and more comfort. At the same time, it provides good fuel economy and extra safety. 

Skoda Octavia

These cars in the C-segment are a blend of European design with a focus on comfort and practicality, offered at a competitive price. 

Vehicle trends in Switzerland

One last automotive market to explore is Switzerland, and as expected, we have a parade of premium-class cars competing for first place. The market, like everything in Switzerland, I guess, is stable.

BMW X3 and Series 3

BMW X3 on the road.
BMW X3 on the road. Source:

Powerful engine and, at the same time, fuel economy, all-wheel drive for off-road conditions, comfortable seating, and various driver-assistance systems. I mean, this is BMW; I could say nothing at all. 

Škoda Enyaq

Of course, the Swiss love electric cars, and in this niche, Škoda Enyaq is the leader for its German quality, stylish sporty design, long drive range, and modern technology. 

Audi Q4

Swiss roads love luxury, and no wonder the Audi A4 luxury sedan is on our list. It offers fantastic driving dynamics with a touch of sportiness and technology for sharp handling and a responsive experience. 

Conclusion: A note from the author

Vehicle trends in Europe
Vehicle trends in Europe

I was writing this article and thinking about my Honda, which has loyally served me for 7 years (and still does). Of course, it is not a luxury car, but it has saved me a million times, and I’m grateful to have this baby. One day, I will kiss goodbye to my car, and my choice will definitely be based on three rules; comfort, economy, and color (I mean, seriously, guys, a black car is hell unless you are ready to wash it every other day).

Anush Bichakhchyan
the authorAnush Bichakhchyan
Content writer
Anush is a freelance content writer and columnist. Writing on tourism and recreation, technology, high-tech and design industries.