James McCay

Dec 4, 2023

In an early Christmas present for Elon Musk, Tesla has surged from out of nowhere to second place in the most-searched car rankings. While Toyota is still leading the herd like a certain red-nosed reindeer lighting the way, it’s lead has shortened.

Other top brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz were also displaced from their long-standing podium positions as Tesla surged ahead of them.

This festive season, the car insurance experts at Compare the Market dive into the data that finds that while Toyota once again keeps its crown as the most searched car brand of the year, Tesla has raced ahead in an incredible leap to second place, after previously not making the list of top brands at all last year.

In the sixth annual edition, Compare the Market compiles the Google Trends data for 2023 and reveals the most searched car brands for 155 countries. See the data below that uncovers the most popular brands across the globe.

To view the results for each country, click here.


For years it seemed there was almost no stopping the Japanese juggernaut, who are the most searched brand four years in a row. But in an incredible turnaround Tesla has gone from not making the rankings at all in 2022 to second place in 2023, with 29 of 155 countries listing Tesla as their number one car brand in Google Trends.

In 2023, 64 countries had Toyota as their most searched car brand, a drop from 69 countries the year before.

Tesla’s meteoric rise displaced other long-running top brands as well. BMW was bumped down from 36 countries in 2022 to 26 in 2023, putting the German brand in third place. Mercedes-Benz went from consistently being in third place to coming fifth this year, dropping from 10 countries in 2022 to six in 2023. This year, Audi came just ahead of Mercedes-Benz with seven nations searching for it more than any other brand.

One possible reason why Tesla performed so well was a lot of speculation and expectation around the infamous Cybertruck, which was well overdue and finally began customer deliveries in 2023 – just in time for Christmas.1


Toyota has a lot of strengths going for it that see the brand continue to dominate in Google searches. The brand has a range of models to suit various customers. Their cars are renowned for being fairly affordable considering their quality, and for being quite easy to fix and maintain. In Australia, Toyota was awarded the Most Trusted Automotive Brand in 2023, demonstrating the considerable positive outlook customers have towards the car maker.2

Looking at the results for the past six years in a line chart, Toyota has started to slip after previously gaining in strength, as the chart below demonstrates.

a line chart showing the top 5 most searched car brands 2018-2023


Iconic auto-makers Ford and Jeep completely disappeared from the list of top car brands this year in the wake of Tesla’s impressive performance.

In 2022, Jeep was number one in Bhutan while Ford was the number one in the USA, Canada, Senegal and Türkiye, but this year, they were both kicked off the podium.

While most brands decreased as Tesla rose to prominence, Fiat saw a jump from two countries for the last three years to being the most searched brand in four countries this year.

There were some clear regional trends in terms of which brands were most popular. Toyota was dominant in central and Southern Africa, West and South-east Asia, Oceania and areas of South America.

Tesla was popular in the USA and parts of Europe. BMW was also especially popular in Europe and was the number one brand in China, but not in any other Asian country.


Adrian Taylor, General Manager of General Insurance at Compare the Market, says it’s important to get car insurance regardless what brand of car you drive – especially if it’s a brand new Christmas present.

“Whether you have a dependable Toyota, a high-tech Tesla or sporty BMW, it’s important to get adequate car insurance for your needs. Owners of new cars typically purchase a higher level of cover due to their cost and replacement value. Many comprehensive policies have a new car replacement benefit where you can receive a brand new one if yours is written off in an insured event within a specified time frame,” says Taylor.

“Regardless of how new or what type of vehicle your car is, car insurance is a financial safety net that can help if something goes wrong. Cars are a vital method of transport across the world, which is why an insurance policy to protect from insured events such as theft, storm and collisions is important,” Taylor explains.

Taylor also notes that it’s important to look at payout limits, exclusions, covered events and other details in the Product Disclosure Statement, Target Market Determinations and other policy documents before you buy.

“All these details can change between policies, so make sure you read the terms and conditions before you buy so you have all the important information you need when deciding on a policy.”

Methodology and sources

Compare the Market used Google Trends data to find the most searched vehicle brands for 155 countries in 2023, where data was available. Due to the way Google Trends classifies Tesla, Tesla does not appear in the Google Trends rankings. To factor Tesla in we gathered keyword search-volume for the top three brands in Google Trends and Tesla. If Tesla had higher search volume than a particular brand, it replaced it in the top three and moved the existing brand down one placement.

Note that Google Trends results are subject to change, even historically, due to the way Google Trends samples data. Data for 2018 and 2019 was gathered between 21/05/2020 and 27/05/2020. Data for 2020 was collected on 04/01/2021 and 2021 data was collected on 01/12/2021. The data for 2022 was gathered on 01/12/2022. Google Trends and keyword search volume data for 2023 was gathered on 01/12/2023.

1 Tesla Cybertruck deliveries begin with $45,000 price rise, unlikely for Australia. DRIVE. 2023.
2 It’s Official: Woolworths is Australia’s Most Trusted Brand. Roy Morgan. 2023.