It comes as no surprise that many once familiar sights on British roads are facing extinction. Changes in emissions regulations, scrappage schemes and an ingrained upgrade mentality means that nothing lasts like it used to.

It’s sad to think, however, that these parts of history could be lost forever. Insurer GoCompare recently released details of 50 classic cars facing extinction, which include some surprises. Of course, we can always hope they are stored away in garages or barns somewhere waiting to shine again. But for now, these 7 models we feature are down to mere single digits registered on the roads. Check out the full list here.

Lada Riva facing extinction Image by Vauxford

Lada Riva 1979 Only 3 Registered

Ok, so we know Lada’s get a bad rap, and they weren’t exactly known for great build quality, but they’re an iconic Soviet motor. Introduced in 1979 this Russian model was actually derived from a Fiat 124. Despite all of this, it’s cheap book price, and impressive list of standard equipment made it a firm favourite here in the UK. Despite that, only 3 are still registered on the roads here.

classic cars facing extinction cavalier

Image by Charles01

Vauxhall Cavalier 1975 Only 3 registered

The first-generation Vauxhall Cavalier was launched in 1975. The Cavalier performed better in WhatCar tests than its segment competitors, the Ford Cortina Mk III and Morris marina. The Cavalier was a hit with fleet managers which helped boost sales of the model. This first generation was phased out in 1981 when the Mark II was released. Today, there are only 3 still registered on the road.

classic renault 21

Image by Thomas Forsman

Renault 21 1986 Only 2 Registered

Released in 1986, the Renault 21 was considered striking with its razor-like design that set it apart from the competition such as the Ford Sierra and Vauxhall Cavalier.  In 1987, What Car? awarded the Renault 21 GTS Best Family Saloon and the Renault 21 Savanna received  Car of the Year, as well as Best Family Estate. Today, however, only 2 are registered on UK roads.

classic cars facing extinction

Image by Charles01

Seat Malaga 1985 Only 1 Registered

The Malaga was the saloon variant of the Spanish marque’s popular hatchback, the Ibiza. A rebadged version of the Fiat Ritmo the Malaga was not hugely successful outside of Spain. Hatchbacks are more desirable here in the UK, so it’s no surprise that a saloon variant performed poor and is, therefore, a rare sight on our roads, with only 1 registered.

Nissan prairieImage by Acty259

Nissan Prairie 1981 Only 1 Registered

It’s not difficult to see why this model isn’t in greater numbers on the roads here in the UK. Its boxy 80s design isn’t exactly desirable by today’s standards. The iconic wedge shape isn’t just visually displeasing though; it actually made the vehicle difficult to drive in poor conditions. The car was a pioneer though of modern-day MPVs with front seats that turned around and fully reclined to make a bed. With only 1 still registered on the road here, it has seemingly been confined to history.

citroen cx

Image by Jaime Mas 

Citroen CX 1974 Only 1 Registered

This one saddens me. I love the design of these old Citroen’s, and this is not the only one on the list, which begs the question, what made these once common vehicles less worthy of saving? It even won car of the year in 1975, with its part limousine, part car styling but that hasn’t stopped it from making this list. The Citroen BX 14 and XM also make it into the top 20.

Aston Martin DB1

Image by Buch-t

Aston Martin DB1 Only 1 Registered

Launched in 1948 the first DB car was a 2-litre, four-cylinder sports car. It was initially named the Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports before receiving the initials of Ex-Aston Martin owner, David Brown. With only one registered on the roads, this is a rare breed indeed.

Did any of these classic cars facing extinction surprise you? Let us know in the comments.