It’s been a little while since we originally looked at our top five German car brands so we decided to review our picks and see if there had been any changes to what brands we thought made the cut into our top five. We’re also looking at our top five picks for Italian car brands and French car brands brands as well if you want to find out more about other great European car brands.

Germany is known throughout the world for providing quality reliable cars that last a lifetime and that comes from the country’s involvement with the industry from the very first motor vehicles, with Carl Benz designing the very first motor vehicle to use an internal combustion engine and electric ignition.

Since then, they have gone on to produce some of the best-known and most sought after models in the world, which has made our decision on the top five brands exported from the nation a difficult one.

1. Volkswagen

The history of Volkswagen infographic showing sales, founding information and car facts

Volkswagen is the flagship brand for the Volkswagen Group and is considered to be one of the most reliable brands on the global market.

VW was originally formed in 1937 by the German government and was created with the aim of providing the population with a reliable car that was affordable for the average driver, hence the name which translates to people’s car.

There are a lot of cars that VW is known for family and young driver favourites like the Golf and Polo through to iconic film stars like the Beetle.

The Beetle was in part designed by legendary car producer Ferdinand Porsche, who went on to establish his own company later, and it was so popular it remained in production for decades until finally being discontinued in 2018.

The Golf and Polo remain some of the best selling hatchbacks on the market and are firm family favourites because of their affordable prices, reliable engineering, spacious interiors and all the modern essentials today’s drivers need.

  • Grey Volkswagen Up
  • Blue Volkswagen Golf R
  • Grey Volkswagen Tiguan
  • Blue Volkswagen Toureg


For some of the best leasing deals in the UK take a look at our VW lease deals.

2. Mercedes-Benz 

The history of Mercedes-Benz infographic showing sales, founding information and car facts

As mentioned earlier Mercedes-Benz has been a key player in the evolution of the modern motor car since the very beginning.

Carl Benz had several companies as he tried to find partners who supported his desire to revolutionise the fledgeling automobile industry by using an engine in a moving vehicle, rather than just the stationary ones used in factories at the time.

In 1883 he finally achieved this aim by founding Benz & Cie, just three years before they patented the first petrol-powered motor car in 1886.

Daimler Motor Company would go on to partner with the Daimler Motor Company, consolidating their two smaller car brands into one formidable manufacturer. Originally it was just a collaboration with coordinated designs, production, purchasing, sales and advertising which allowed the two brands to remain competitive in the market following the difficulties of the first world war but in 1926 the Daimler-Benz AG company was formed when they officially merged.  Shortly after this, the first Mercedes-Benz models began to appear on the roads. You can find out more about the story behind the Mercedes name and the early days for Daimler and Mercedes in the history of Mercedes

Today Mercedes is one of the biggest producers of luxury cars in the world and they offer models in all body shapes and styles as well as with a range of electric and hybrid powertrains in line with the wider market’s shift to electric models.

  • Grey Mercedes-Benz C-class
  • Silver Mercedes-Benz EQA
  • Silver Mercedes-Benz GLA
  • White Mercedes-Benz S-class


To find out more about Mercedes’ rich history and just how important the company was for the development of the modern automobile check out this article or have a look at our best Mercedes-Benz lease deals.

3. Audi 

The history of Audi infographic showing sales, founding information and car facts

Audi is renowned for its technological developments and driver-orientated interior that is finished to a high quality above what you expect even from a premium brand.

The company was originally founded in 1910 by engineer August Horch and like several other brands is named after its founder, though August translated Horch into Latin to create the name Audi.

Audi joined forces with three other companies DKW, Wanderer and the original Horch Company to form the Auto Union, and it was then that they took their current logo of four rings.

During and after WW2 many German automotive makers found it difficult to continue, especially with strict Allie regulations in place, and Auto Union moved to West Germany in order to try and re-establish the company.

In the mid-1960s the company was acquired by the larger Volkswagen manufacturer, and they decided to combine all four brands of the Auto Union into one that would be known as Audi. It wasn’t until the 1980s that Audi gained worldwide recognition with the Audi Quattro’s success in rallying and they then went on to produce a number of models that soon went on to set the standard for luxury hatchbacks and saloons.

  • Silver Audi E-tron Sportback
  • Green Audi Q5
  • Yellow Audi S3 Sportback
  • Grey Audi TT Coupe


Want to see great leasing deals? Check out our Audi lease deals.

4. BMW

The history of BMW infographic showing sales, founding information and car facts

BMW, or to give it its full name Bayerische Motoren Werke, began life in 1913 as the Rapp Motorenwerke GmbH which was a manufacturer of aircraft and motor vehicles. The business was founded by its namesake Karl Rapp but when he left just four years after establishing the company it was renamed to its current name and adopted the blue and white chequered flag of its home region Bavaria into the logo.

The company has had a long history with motorsports, with racing teams across a number of competitions, and contributing engines to other teams as well. They’ve been a part of Formula One, various Touring Car Championship, Le Mans, a number of endurance series races, and even setting up their own formula series to help develop young talent progressing from karting to F1. They currently have a team in Formula E, the fully electric racing series.

For drivers that aren’t on the racetrack, BMW have also cultivated a number of great saloon, executive, hatchback and SUV models with both electric and traditional combustion engines. We think that they’ve developed a great range of electric car leasing options for drivers who want a BMW for the modern world.

  • White BMW i4
  • Yellow BMW M4 Competition Coupe
  • Green BMW M5 cs
  • Grey BMW X1


For more information on BMW leasing and the great deals we’ve currently got available why not take a look at our BMW lease deals.

5. Porsche

The history of Porsche infographic showing sales, founding information and car facts

We mentioned Ferdinand Porsche earlier for his part in designing of the VW Beetle but following on from that he went on to set up his own automotive company that focused on high-performance models that let him fully explore his interest in motor racing and the cars involved.

The original Porsche 911 was based on the designs that Ferdinand had explored for the VW Beetle. Since then, the iconic car has been through several generations, though the fundamentals of the original have changed little, to ensure it remains as up to date and modern as other models in its catalogue.

Porsche’s logo was created by merging the prancing horse and stag coats of arms of the company’s founding city and region, Stuttgart and Württemberg, respectively. The business headquarters remains in Stuttgart today and is still controlled by members of the Porsche family, although they are also part of the Volkswagen AG.  

  • Blue Porsche 911
  • Red Porsche Panamera
  • Green Porsche Taycan Tubro S Cross Turismo
  • Mahogany Metallic Porsche Taycan


And we’ve got some of the best Porsche lease deals in the UK for you to look at.

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Thank you for sharing this post, really loved reading this one.

Luxury car dealers, 09:24AM / Jul 17, 2020

In the world of designing the german are best.

Robert john, 09:55AM / Jul 28, 2020

The Audi car is nice

Devaperiam, 02:56PM / Aug 02, 2020

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