The cars of the 1980 and 90s on the verge of extinction

Some of the most recognisable and popular cars of the 1980s and 90s are in danger of dying out completely, according to new data.

Figures from the DVLA show that models from the likes of Citroen, Renault, Alfa Romeo and Vauxhall which used to be a common sight on Britain’s roads are now almost completely gone.

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Most endangered of all is the instantly recognisable Lada Riva. The endless butt of playground jokes throughout the 80s and 90s, the basic Russian saloon nonetheless sold around 30,000 examples. Now, however, there are just 49 Rivas left.

Far more desirable but almost as close to extinction is the Alfa Romeo 146. Just 89 examples of the sporty looking hatchback are still registered in the UK despite thousands being sold in the 1990s.

There are fewer than 50 Lada Rivas left on Britain's roads (Photo: Lada)

Another Italian favourite between the early 80s and mid 90s - the Fiat Uno - is the third most, with just 218 of the more than 300,000 UK examples still on the roads.

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Several of the best-sellers of the period are also now on the endangered list, with fewer than 500 each of the Peugeot 309, Nissan Bluebird, Citroen BX and Rover 800 still around.

The top 10 at-risk cars


Number left

Lada Riva


Alfa Romeo 146


Fiat Uno


Renault 21


Vauxhall Carlton


Citroen BX


Nissan Bluebird


Volvo 440


Peugeot 309


Rover 800


The data was obtained from DVLA records by Retro Cars magazine. Its editor Craig Cheetham, said: “Cars of the 80s and 90s are becoming increasingly popular with younger drivers who are embracing this era, but the supply of cars is a lot worse than it is or was for classics of an earlier vintage thanks to a generational shift in society, which has seen a car become as much of a disposable asset as a washing machine.

“In the 80s and 90s the days of ‘make good and mend’ turned into ‘finance and replace’, not helped by the 2009/10 scrappage scheme, and in the future the everyday cars of this era will be far less common than classic MGBs or Triumphs. Indeed, in many cases they already are.”

“That’s why it’s essential that the good ones get saved.”

(Photo: Fiat)