Reliant three-wheelers having the last laugh

Believe it or not, there are still some real-life market traders using Reliants.

PERHAPS the stars of the hit TV series Only Fools and Horses were on to something after all, as the much-ridiculed Reliant three-wheeler is becoming something of a cult car.
Ten years after The Reliant Motor Company stopped producing the Reliant Robin the company’s range of iconic three-wheeled vehicles are proving more popular than ever and could begin appreciating in value after research found a surprising range of people are falling for the charms of the car.
Research by The Trading Floor studied the correlation between occupation and ownership and found the Reliant Robin and its sister model, the Reliant Regal Supervan are most popular with retirees but surprisingly, the cars, which were never renowned for their engineering prowess, are now also extremely popular with engineers, as well as company directors and students.
Despite the Reliant Regal van being synonymous with Only Fools and Horses and Peckham, the research also shows that Lancashire is the Reliant capital of the UK, with more than 2,000 Robin and Regal owners, followed by Kent and Essex.
Commenting on the findings, Chris McDonald, Managing Director of The Trading Floor, said: “It’s 30 years since Only Fools and Horses was first broadcast yet the people who own Reliants these days are a far cry from Del Boy. Instead they are popular with all types of people that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with them, such as engineers, HGV drivers and housewives, although our statistics do show that there are still more than 20 market traders in the UK who own a Reliant, so there are still some modern-day Del Boys on our roads!
“It’s also a big surprise to find that Reliants are so popular in Essex, a region normally associated with flash Range Rovers and convertible sports cars.
“The fact that the cars are no longer in production and becoming scarce means that there is a strong possibility that they will start appreciating in value, which will make them a very good investment.”
The main Reliant Regal Supervan featured in Only Fools And Horses is now a star exhibit at the Cars of the Stars museum in Keswick, Cumbria, but another original from the show was sold at auction in 2007 for £44,000 and boxer Ricky Hatton famously bought one.
The research also found that Reliants are most popular with people in their 40’s, with the highest number of owners being born in 1969. Chris adds: “These owners would have been in their teenage years when Only Fools and Horses was broadcast, so the programme will no doubt have had a lasting impression and helped drive them towards their choice of vehicle.”