Earlier this year, PetrolBlog spent a worrying amount of time sifting through the data on How Many Left? to identify the rarest French cars on the roads of the Britain. It made for heartbreaking reading for fans of French metal from the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
Just where did they all go? Of course, that’s a rhetorical question, with most either turning to rust or scrapped when deemed beyond economical repair.
As promised, we now turn our attentions to Renault and, by popular demand, we’ve provided the number of cars registered as SORN (off the road) by the DVLA. Enjoy – if you can.
Remember, the information is only as good as the data provided and we’ve only included PetrolBloggy Renaults from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. It’s also worth pointing out that fresh DVLA data has been provided since the original post, with the figures used now up to and including Q1 2014. Enjoy. If you can.
22nd – Renault 5
Number left: 1,803
Number SORN: 2,240
Given that well over five million Renault 5s were produced, it’s no surprise to see a healthy number of 5s remaining in the UK.
To be honest, the Renault 5 isn’t really on the critical list. But we had to include it, if only to use this wonderfully evocative photo of a MK1. C’est magnifique. Or something.
21st – Renault 19
Number left: 834
Number SORN: 876
Again, the Renault 19 and Chamade can’t be categorised as critical, but given the low values on the used car market and the unfashionable nature of all but the performance models, we’ll leave this here as a marker.
Come back this time next year, by which time the number will have dropped quite dramatically.
20th – Renault Vel Satis
Number left: 638
Number SORN: 116
The Renault Vel Satis was never a big seller in the UK, but a loyal following and near-cult status should ensure that plenty of cars survive.
Read Oliver ‘Mr Vel Satis’ Hammond’s Real World Review here.
19th – Renault Safrane
Number left: 370
Number SORN: 145
In the UK, big French cars are about as popular as a wasp at a picnic. So whilst 370 may seem healthy enough, diving deeper into the data reveals that many engine and trim levels are down to single figures.
Only the Safrane RXE 2.5-litre Executive automatic bucks the trend, with as many as 171 still on the road today.
18th – Renault Avantime
Number left: 272
Number SORN: 65
Ah, the Renault Avantime. Much has been written about its brilliance on these here pages.
A guaranteed future classic, with relatively strong values hopefully ensuring many of them survive. Our children need to know what the French were capable of at the turn of the millennium.
17th – Renault 4
Number left: 252
Number SORN: 236
So practical and useable was the Renault 4, that many cars are still enjoying active service in France today. Mind you, with over eight million cars produced, spares should never be a problem.
Production continued until 1993, bringing to an end one of the most successful French cars ever. Just look at it. Perfection.
16th – Renault 21
Number left: 223
Number SORN: 445
Amazingly, the number of Renault 21s off the road is virtually double that of the number of cars on the road.
Unsurprisingly, this includes a healthy number of 21 Quadras, currently untaxed, awaiting attention. The owners are either saving up or building up the courage to carry out essential repairs.
15th – Renault 9
Number left: 128
Number SORN: 46
The Shatchback version of the Renault 11, a fine piece of work by Robert Opron.
The Renault 9 is a former European Car of the Year, don’t you know?
14th – Renault A610/GTA
Number left: 104
Number SORN: 190
Already a classic and much-coveted.
We wouldn’t expect to see numbers falling much further.
13th – Renault 11
Number left: 102
Number SORN: 190
The Renault 11 is no stranger to PetrolBlog, with the Electronic featuring on the site many moons ago.
And the photo supplied by a reader in Hungary is still one of the best we’ve seen.
12th – Renault 25
Number left: 88
Number SORN: 207
Another offering from Robert Opron, with an interior styled by none other than Marcello Gandini. Yes, he of Lamborghini Countach fame. Which, ahem, had a single wiper.
OK, back on topic, we really want a Renault 25 – desperately. Have you seen the interior?
11th – Renault 16
Number left: 65
Number SORN: 18
The Renault 16 encapsulates everything we love about French cars, combining acres of space, hatchback practicality and levels of ride comfort to shame even a new Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
Of course, we all want the performance 16TX version, but with rust killing most, just a chance to own a 16 would be enough.
10th – Renault 12
Number left: 64
Number SORN: 46
A Renault 12 Gordini – words aren’t required here.
This is quite simply one of the coolest photos of one of the coolest cars in the world. Ever. Quite possibly.
9th – Renault 15/17
Number left: 57
Number SORN: 23
Louvred rear quarters, yellow-tinted quad headlamps, French plates and the most interesting front bumper design you’ll ever see.
Yes, we want a Renault 17. Badly.
8th – Renault 8
Number left: 51
Number SORN: 24
As we’ve said before, the Renault 8 was essentially born too long ago to feature on PetrolBlog, but it’s included for two reasons.
Firstly, production crept into the 1970s. And secondly – and perhaps more importantly – we can use this photo again.
7th – Renault 20/30
Number left: 36
Number SORN: 24
Just 36 of these remain, with the 20 accounting for the lion share, with 27 survivors.
It made for an unlikely rally car…
6th – Renault 18
Number left: 33
Number SORN: 54
Of all the cars featured here, it’s the Renault 18 we fear for the most. Does anyone care enough to save it?
You could have owned a Cortina or Cavalier. But for the rear spoiler design and alloy wheels of the Turbo model shown above, you really should have bought the 18.
5th – Renault 10/1100
Number left: 27
Number SORN: 9
To all intents and purposes, this was a run-out special, designed to breathe new life into the ageing Renault 8.
It’s now a classic, so we don’t expect numbers to fall much further.
4th – Renault 6 – 25
Number left: 25
Number SORN: 9
The ‘posh’ version of the Renault 4.
Yet it’s the pauper who has the last laugh, with the prince struggling for breath as it faces a fight for survival.
3rd – Renault Sport Spider
Number left: 24
Number SORN: 35
Also known as ‘the French Lotus Elise’.
UK buyers were treated to a windscreen. Which was nice.
2nd – Renault Fuego
Number left: 18
Number SORN: 53
Oh, the poor Renault Fuego. In French, Fuego translates to ‘The French Ford Capri’. No really, it does.
But whilst values of the Ford Capri continue to rise, the Fuego just faces a fight for survival. If you own one, don’t scrap it. Please!
1st – Renault 14
Number left: 8
Number SORN: 4
So we’re left with ‘the pear’ – the Renault 14. There are just a dozen cars left in the UK. Ask yourself, when did you last see one?
It was never really loved, which is a shame, as it offered enough space for five adults plus their luggage. It also featured an innovative rear seating arrangement, which could be folded away to provide near estate car levels of capacity. Now nearly extinct.
All data provided by How Many Left? If you know of any inaccuracies, please let us know. Next up, Peugeot…
All images © Renault, except the Renault 10 © Charles01 and the 11 Electronic © Ati04.