It doesn’t seem so long ago that the new car market bounced from one month of record registrations to the next. However, as we move through 2019 the seemingly never-ending political uncertainty, increased taxes and a lack of clarity over the future of diesel continue to take their toll.
THE YEAR SO FAR
September 2019 epitomised this trend, with registrations up a modest 1.3% on the same month last year, which in itself had been distinctly lacklustre. To put the figures into context, 343,255 new cars were registered in the UK this September; three years ago the figure was 469,696. That’s according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the trade association that supports the UK car industry and monitors sales of new and used cars in the UK.
In terms of fuel types, September was another difficult month for diesel (-20.3% compared with September 2018, and now in its 30th consecutive month of decline). The market for new petrol cars grew by 4.5% (to 224,828 units), hybrids were up 0.6% (to 16,932 units) and the market for pure battery electric cars increased by 236.4% (7,704 units). The market for plug-in hybrid cars is beginning to show some signs of stabalisation following the Government’s decision to remove grants that incentivised consumers to purchase such vehicles. In September sales of plug-in hybrids were up by 22.6% compared with the same month last year, equating to 5,179 units.
Year-to-date, new car registrations are now -2.5% behind where they were at this time last year, at 1,862,271 cars.
THE UK’S 10 BEST-SELLING NEW CARS
Below we have rounded up the 10 best selling new cars of 2019 so far, according to SMMT data. If you fancy exploring the availability of nearly new and used versions of these cars, click on the links below each to find great deals from top rated dealers in the CarGurus classifieds.
1. Ford Fiesta
Number sold in first nine months of 2019: 64,564
Ford’s supermini continues to dominate the UK sales charts, and is loved for its smart design, competitive prices and low running costs. Throw in the fact that it’s great to drive and it’s not difficult to see why it’s so popular.
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2. Vauxhall Corsa
Number sold in first nine months of 2019: 47,574
It might not be the most cutting-edge car on sale, but the Vauxhall Corsa still continues to attract buyers thanks to its efficient engines and keen pricing. Look out for some great deals this year as Vauxhall prepares for the arrival of an all-new Corsa.
Search for a used Vauxhall Corsa on CarGurus
3. Volkswagen Golf
Number sold in first nine months of 2019: 46,492
Volkswagen might be building an increasing number of SUVs these days, but it is still a hatchback that serves as its best-selling model. That car is of course the Golf, a version of which exists for every type of buyer.
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4. Ford Focus
Number sold in first nine months of 2019: 45,932
The arrival of a new Ford Focus is always a big deal, so it’s not surprising to see this latest model flying high in the sales charts. It remains as enjoyable to drive as ever, but now mixes in more space and technology in a bid to stay ahead of rivals.
Search for a used Ford Focus on CarGurus
5. Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Number sold in first nine months of 2019: 43,293
If you like your hatchback to be packed with the latest technology then get down to your nearest Mercedes showroom and have a closer look at the A-Class. In particular, the optional dual-screen setup for the dials and infotainment system is one of the best in the business.
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6. Nissan Qashqai
Number sold in first nine months of 2019: 42,485
The original SUV-hatchback crossover continues to do excellent business for Nissan. The introduction of a new 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine for 2019 makes what was already a strong performer even better.
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Number sold in first nine months of 2019: 32,394
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the original Mini, so expect plenty of celebrations. Today the company is part of BMW, and continues to go from strength to strength in terms of the quality and appeal of its products. No wonder it’s a sales success, as proven by the regular appearance of the MINI hatchback in the list of the UK’s best-selling cars.
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8. Ford Kuga
Number sold in first nine months of 2019: 30,807
The Kuga is Ford’s rival to the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage and Seat Ateca. While it might not have the largest boot in the class, the Kuga is roomy enough for passengers as well as being good to drive.
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9. Volkswagen Polo
Number sold in first nine months of 2019: 30,066
The Polo has long been considered as the most grown-up small car on sale, and with the latest model Volkswagen has moved the game on yet again. In fact, so roomy and refined is the Polo these days that it almost feels like a car from the class above.
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10. Kia Sportage
Number sold in first nine months of 2019: 28,227
Even judged purely on its pragmatic qualities it is easy to see why the Sportage has been such a big seller for Kia. It is, after all, roomy, economical, good value and sold with a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty. The icing on the cake for many buyers is that the Sportage is also smartly styled inside and out, and comes with lots of standard equipment.
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