Last updated October 20th, 2023
A one-in-a-million classic car is always likely to turn heads.
If you’re thinking about buying a used car, the idea of owning an exclusive model may be an appealing one. Alternatively, if you already own a collectable motor, you might be keen to know exactly how scarce it is. (Getting a classic car valuation may also be helpful here.)
With more than 30 million cars on the road in the UK, it’s tricky to gauge the rarity of a specific model by sight alone. Fortunately, there are numerous avenues you can explore to retrieve that information.
In this guide, we will cover how to discover the rarity of any UK-registered vehicle using automotive books, magazines - and online car rarity checker tools. We’ll also run through a list of some of the rarest cars on the road today. (Count yourself very lucky if you happen to own one of these treasures!)
Before researching the rarity of a particular car, it’s important to collate a few key details about the vehicle. This will help ensure your search yields accurate results.
The easiest way to do this is to enter the reg number into our free car check tool. (Your free report will tell you everything you need to know, including the car’s make, model, fuel and transmission type - and year of registration.)
From here, you can consult relevant automotive books, magazines and websites for information about the rarity of your particular car model. (Searching various car advertising websites can also shed some light on how rare a particular model is.)
Bear in mind that car scarcity data can quickly become outdated. Therefore, if you’re looking for current and definitive data, your best option is to use an online car rarity check tool, as their datasets should update in real time.
Most of these tools are free to use. A quick online search for ‘How rare is my car?’ should provide you with plenty of useful options.
Typically, these online tools consolidate data from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) records for the UK’s licensed car models, which covers more than 50,000 makes, models and variants.
Most online car rarity checkers utilise DfT data to obtain the numbers for how many cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles of each model are registered in the United Kingdom. You can use them to check how many units for a particular model are still on the roads today.
Whilst information reported in books, magazines and online articles will become outdated, these online tools use real-time DfT data, so you can be assured that you’re getting the most current information.
Estimated value: $17.16m (£14.4m)
Rarity: Only 55 were ever made, according to the automotive engineer Shayrgo Barazi.
Estimated value: $9.8m (£8m)
Rarity: According to Forbes, a mere six Royales were produced - and two were never sold.
Estimated value: $7m (£5.7m)
Rarity: According to Conceptcarz, around 126 Ford GT-40s were produced.
Estimated value: $4.8m (£3.9m)
Rarity: According to Koenigsegg, only two were ever built!
Estimated value: $3.9 million (£3.2m)
Rarity: According to Motortrend, only four copies of the Veneno Coupe were produced in 2013. Lamborghini also built a customisable roadster version – and produced a further nine units for this variant.
Estimated value: $3.5 m (£2.9m)
Rarity: According to Automobilia, only three were produced.
Estimated value: $3.4 million (£2.8m)
Rarity: Only seven were produced according to McElroy.
Estimated value: $2.8 million (£2.3m)
Rarity: Digital Trends reported that Pagani planned to build just five of this model.
Estimated value: $2.78m (£2.28m)
Rarity: A one-off supercar with a body built from titanium and carbon fibre.
Estimated value: Around $1m (£821,185)
Rarity: Only 84 units were produced.
Some cars are truly ‘one of a kind’, such as the Ferrari Spider convertible made for Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli.
Others are extremely sought after by collectors, such as the Ferrari 250 Grand Turismo Omologato - a rare diamond designed by Enzo Ferrari. All 36 units produced are still thought to be on the roads. WeatherTech founder and CEO David MacNeil is reported to have paid around $70m (£57.5m) for his!
If you want to retrieve key details about your motor, our free car check tool can help. Simply enter your reg number and our tool will generate a detailed car check report containing the following information about your vehicle:
Remember, if you want to gain an accurate picture of how rare your vehicle is, the more information you collect, the better.
Once you have noted down all the important details, you can begin searching for the relevant model in automotive books and magazines – or by using an online car rarity checker.