What’s the rarest Renault in Britain? Here, PetrolBlog attempts to answer that question using DVLA registration data correct at the end of 2019.
It’s six years since PetrolBlog looked at the French Car Critical List, so an update is long overdue. Like before, the focus is on cars from the PetrolBlog era, so that means Renaults of the 70s, 80s and 90s. There are one or two others, which you’ll discover in a moment.
The usual caveats apply. The information is only as good as the DVLA data, so the figures should be used as a guide. Also, the cars are ranked in terms of cars registered at the end of December 2019. It’s worth noting the number of Renaults listed as SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification), as this provides a true indication of the cars left in the UK.
For some context, here are the figures from the Renault French Car Critical List in 2014.
Six years ago, there were 252 Renault 4s on the road and a further 236 listed as SORN. It’s encouraging to see that numbers are on the up, helped in part by cars being imported from France. Production spanned four different decades, with around eight million cars built during that time.
Six years ago, PetrolBlog claimed that “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”. The crystal ball must have been working, with the number of Renault 19s on the road falling from 834 to 203, while the number listed as SORN has remained steady.
Good lord – things aren’t looking good for the misunderstood Renault Vel Satis. There were 638 cars on the road in 2014, but that number has plummeted to 175. Click here to read why the Vel Satis needs to be saved from the abyss.
Is the Renault Avantime on borrowed time? Not necessarily, because while the number of cars registered has fallen from 272 to 167, the number listed as SORN has gone up. You’d have to assume that the 300 or so Renault Avantimes left in the UK are in the safe hands of enthusiasts.
The Renault 9 won European Car of the Year in 1982, but that won’t be enough to halt its decline into oblivion. Without wishing to damn it with faint praise, it wasn’t Robert Opron’s finest design, but the Renault 9 is ageing quite well.
This is a bit of an odd one, because 448 people appear to be keeping their Renault 21s under lock and key in the hope that they become a classic car sensation. This looks unlikely, but it’s good to see that the numbers are holding up – assuming the mothballed Renault 21s are in good condition.
PetrolBlog bought a Renault Safrane in December 2019, so it’s doing its best to keep the big barge alive. There were 370 on the road in 2014, but that number has fallen to 75. History would suggest that the number will continue to plummet.
Arguably one of the best (and under-appreciated) French cars of the last century, the Renault 16’s impact on the family car market should not be underestimated. Here’s some good news: there are now more Renault 16s in the UK than there were in 2014.
Perhaps predictably, given the fact that the data was collected in December, there are more Renault GTAs listed as SORN than there are on the road. With values ranging from £10,000 to £20,000, the GTA stands a good chance of survival in the UK.
The Renault Fluence is arguably too modern to warrant a place on the list, but there aren’t many left. PetrolBlog doesn’t own an electric car, but if it did, the Fluence would be top of the list.
A flying Renault 12 Gordini. As press photos go, this is one of the best.
The Renault 8 is too old (and brilliant) for PetrolBlog, but it warrants a place on the French Car Critical List because production crept into the 1970s. We also like this press photo.
A classic Robert Opron design with a superb interior. The Renault 25 is in danger of extinction, with the number of examples on the road down from 88 to 46.
Rather than combine the numbers of the Renault 15 and 17, each one is given its own berth in 2020. The Renault 17 is marginally more common than the 15, although there are just five listed as SORN.
PetrolBlog is in love with this Renault 18 which is for sale at the next ACA classic car auction. In the meantime, there are 25 Renault 18s on the road.
Renault built 1,685 Sport Spiders, with 96 coming to the UK. Sensibly, all UK cars came with a windscreen and a list price of around £26,000. Of those 96, a total of 79 appear to be registered with the DVLA.
There are just 23 examples of the Renault 20 and 30 on the road, with a further 31 listed as SORN. Do people in the UK care enough to keep the large Renault alive?
Compare and contrast the fortunes of the Ford Capri and Renault Fuego. While the values of the Ford continue to rise, the Renault has plateaued. It’s a similar story with the numbers, which are roughly the same as they were in 2014.
Launched in 1971, the 15 was Renault’s answer to the Ford Capri. Like the Capri, it was based a humble platform, in this case the Renault 12. Cool thing.
The run-out version of the Renault 8 sits beyond the realms of PetrolBlog, but it was featured in 2014, so it keeps its place in 2020.
Launched in 1991, the Renault A610 – or Alpine A610 on the continent – was a comprehensive overhaul of the GTA. Just 68 right-hand-drive examples of the ‘French Porsche 911’ were sold in the UK. Today, around two-thirds survive.
There were 34 Renault 6s registered with the DVLA in 2014. Today, that number has plummeted to 21. Keep the ‘posh’ Renault 4 alive. Please.
Once again, the Renault 14 is left to prop up the table. Nearly a million examples of ‘La Poire’ were built, but the Renault 14 never really struck a chord with UK buyers. It’s no surprise to discover there are just six on the road.
All data sourced from the DVLA. Get in touch if you know of any inaccuracies. Thank you.