More bicycles than cars sold in Britain, and most of Europe too

Bike shop, Tech Trends 2014

New bicycle sales outstripped new car sales in Britsin during 2012 by 76 per cent, according to a study published by news outlet NPR. The story is the same across Europe, with bikes outselling cars in 23 member countries including Germany, Italy, France and Spain.

According to NPR's figures, 3.6 million bicycles were sold during 2012 compared to just over 2 million passenger cars.

Britain was second to Germany for total of new bike sales, with just under 4 million new cycles purchased in Germany during 2012. Bikes outsold cars in Italy for the first time since the Second World War.

Although bicycles are enjoying a boom in sales, the car market is the opposite - with a 20-year slump in new car purchases being reported, partly due to the global recession.

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Nigel Wynn
Former Associate Editor

Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, n exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.