While CarGurus is a used car marketplace, we also feel it’s important to keep abreast of what’s happening in the new car market. After all, today’s new cars are tomorrow’s nearly new ones. What that in mind, below we’ve rounded up what were the 10 best selling new cars on sale in the UK in 2018. By following the links below each car you’ll be able to find approved used examples for sale via CarGurus, with potential savings of thousands of pounds.
THE NEW CAR MARKET IN 2018
According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the trade body that supports the interests of the UK automotive industry, 2,367,147 million new cars were registered in 2018. This represents a fall in sales of -6.8 per cent compared with the previous year, which the SMMT attributes to ‘a turbulent year of model changes, regulatory upheaval and continued anti-diesel policies’, all of which it said combined to dent consumer confidence.
THE MARKET IN DETAIL
The most popular fuel type for new cars in 2018 was petrol, which accounted for 63.2% of registrations. Diesel on the other hand came in with a 31.7% share of registrations, marking a drop in demand of almost -30% compared with the previous year. The mainstream media tends to attribute this to the continuation of anti-diesel sentiment that began with the VW emissions scandal of 2015. However, while this was without doubt a factor, so too has been the implementation of new VED road tax rates (first introduced in April 2017 and then made tougher still in 2018) that have made it increasingly expensive to run a diesel-powered car.
Where diesel suffered, alternative fuel vehicles (that’s primarily electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid) have shown signs of starting to flourish. For while overall sales in 2018 were still at about a tenth of the level of petrol cars (and a mere 6% share of the overall market), the figure of 141,270 AFV registrations still represents annual growth of 20.9%.
THE TOP 10
Below we’ve rounded up the best selling new cars of 2018, with links to approved used examples listed for sale on CarGurus. To see how the list compares with its used car equivalent, see our guide to The 10 Most Popular Used Cars in the UK.
Number sold in 2018: 95,892
The Fiesta has been a dominant force in the new car market for years now, with buyers loving its combination of affordability, low running costs and excellent driving dynamics that ensure it is both fun and comfortable. The latest version also features a much improved interior.
Search for an approved used Ford Fiesta on CarGurus
Number sold in 2018: 64,829
2018 marked three years since the Volkswagen emissions scandal broke, not that the ongoing consequences seemed to do much to harm sales of the Golf. Facelifted in 2017, the latest Golf is classy, roomy and has engines to suit your every need.
Search for an approved used Volkswagen Golf on CarGurus
Number sold in 2018: 52,915
Although some way behind the Ford Fiesta in terms of sales, the latest Vauxhall Corsa is still a good bet, particularly when you factor in how keenly priced it is. The Corsa is well equipped these days too, with features such as a heated steering wheel and excellent touchscreen system all on offer.
Search for an approved used Vauxhall Corsa on CarGurus
Number sold in 2018: 50,546
Nissan is credited with starting the public’s craze for crossovers, a class it created with the original Qashqai of 2006. More than a decade later the second-generation Qashqai continues to be hugely popular on account of the way it combines SUV space and styling with the performance and running costs of a normal family car.
Search for an approved used Nissan Qashqai on CarGurus
Number sold in 2018: 50,492
There might have been a new Ford Focus waiting in the wings for launch in late 2018, but that didn’t stop people flocking to the outgoing model, spurred on no doubt by some tempting finance options. A great choice it is too, for the Focus remains one of the best handling cars in the family car class, not to mention good value for money.
Search for an approved used Ford Focus on CarGurus
Number sold in 2018: 45,149
Volkswagen launched its sixth-generation Polo at the beginning of 2018. As with its predecessors, the latest Polo majors on offering a big car feel in a small package, and as a result is a seriously refined supermini.
Search for an approved used Volkswagen Polo on CarGurus
Number sold in 2018: 44,904
Given the popularity of the MINI in both three- and five-door forms it’s no surprise that changes for the 2018 facelift were fairly discrete. So there’s an improved infotainment system, more safety equipment and personalisation options than before, and some snazzy Union Jack rear lights.
Search for an approved used MINI on CarGurus
Number sold in 2018: 43,527
The combination of a keenly priced older model (pictured), and an all-new car introduced part way through 2018 helped the Mercedes A-Class secure a solid eighth position in the list of the UK’s best selling cars. A hugely popular car for Mercedes, the A-Class offers the look, feel and quality people expect of a car wearing the three-pointed star, but at a surprisingly affordable price.
Search for an approved used Mercedes-Benz A-Class on CarGurus
Number sold in 2018: 40,398
With three models in the top 10 best sellers list Ford clearly still knows how to appeal to the UK market, whether it’s with conventional cars like the Fiesta and Focus, or SUVs such as the Kuga. As with its smaller siblings, the Kuga stands out for being very satisfying to drive, and is also a refined cruiser. Do, however, check that the boot is big enough to meet your requirements.
Search for an approved used Ford Kuga on CarGurus
Number sold in 2018: 35,567
When Kia released its third-generation Sportage in 2010 it marked a fundamental shift in the company’s design language that has since been rolled out to other models in its range. However, it is the Sportage which has gone on to prove most successful in the UK market; this Qashqai-sized SUV regularly features in the list of the 10 best selling new cars. The latest version was introduced in 2015 and like its predecessor offers a compelling combination of design, space, performance and equipment, all at competitive prices.
Search for an approved used Kia Sportage on CarGurus
READ MORE ON THE CARGURUS BLOG
- The 10 Most Popular Used Cars in the UK
- Five Things That Make a Great Driver’s Car
- 2018 Kia Ceed Driven
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