RAC Cars News


The end of an era for cars we once loved

By raccars Published

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According to DVLA data, these once popular cars are at risk of extinction from British roads.

Quite often, the more successful the car, the more dramatic its downfall. Big sales lead to over saturation and low residual values. Today's most fashionable cars become tomorrow's old news. DVLA shows which models of car are the least populous in terms of the numbers taxed and officially in use, although it cannot determine how many are sitting rotting in barns, waiting to be discovered and restored...

Talbot Samba

The cabriolet version of this Anglo-French hatchback was an entertaining drive but you're unlikely to find one available, with numbers of the Peugeot 104-based Talbot Samba dwindling to 20 in the UK.

Lada Samara

The Fiat 124-based Samara never had pretensions to premium status but could not even compete with the Skoda Favorit. 19 models struggle on in the UK.

Nissan/Datsun Stanza

The Stanza was at one time quite popular in the UK, with 18,000 of them on the DVLA's books in 1994. Somewhere along the line, however, the UK Stanza population appears to have fallen like lemmings off a cliff, and in 2004 only 159 of them were still in use. Today that number has gone down to 18.

Renault 14

Nicknamed 'The Pear', the 14 saw Renault unsuccessfully attempting to challenge the Volkswagen Golf. Almost a million were made, of which 16 remain in use in the UK.

Lancia Y10

You could be forgiven for thinking 'Lancia who?', as the Y10 never really made significant inroads into the UK. The luxury economy city car was made from 1985-1995 and was a hit elsewhere, but was removed from the UK market in 1991, a couple of years before Lancia conceded total defeat and withdrew from the UK. However there are still 14 Y10s trundling along UK roads.

Peugeot 104

Of some two million 104s produced, there are now only 14 left in the UK. The 104 was one of the most successful superminis in Europe in the Seventies, but was replaced by the even more successful 205 in the Eighties.

Daihatsu Domino

An early version of the Charade, the Domino wasn't a bad little car and is starting to find favour as a modification project internationally, but DIY modifiers in the UK may struggle to find one as there are only 11 still in existence here.

Fiat Regata

The Fiat Strada dressed as a saloon, the Regata was charmless and drab. However 11 owners are, for some reason, keeping the Strada on the road in the UK.

Hyundai Stellar

Once a favourite of minicab drivers, the Stellar was based upon the Cortina but lacks the Ford's retro charm. Only ten are still registered in the UK.

Daihatsu Applause

Daihatsu never really got much applause for this ungainly mash up of a hatchback and a saloon, sold throughout the Nineties but looking incredibly dated today. Only ten remain in use.

Volkswagen Santana

This was the Passat in saloon format and went down very well in China. European buyers were less impressed, however, and only six Santanas are still being used in the UK.

FSO Polonez

This Eastern European car was cheap and cheerful but build quality was an issue. It was made from 1978-1991 but there now only three still registered in the UK.

Seat Malaga

There is apparently only one lonely Seat Malaga still in use in the UK. Made from 1985-1992, the Malaga was essentially a saloon version of the Ibiza but was a victim of Europe's preference for hatchbacks. It was replaced by the Cordoba in 1993.

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