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
October 2019 epitomised this trend, with the 143,251 new car registrations marking a drop of -6.7% compared with the same month last year. To get a full idea of how sharply new car registrations have declined, three years ago October registrations stood at 180,168. That’s according to figures from 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, October was another difficult month for diesel (-28.3% compared with October 2018, and now in its 31st consecutive month of decline). The market for new petrol cars also shrank by -3.2% (to 89,371 units), hybrids were up 28.9% (to 7,950 units) and the market for pure battery electric cars increased by 151.8% (3,162 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 October sales of plug-in hybrids were only 1.7% down on the same month last year, equating to 3,119 units.
Year-to-date, new car registrations are now -2.9% behind where they were at this time last year, at 2,005,522 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 10 months of 2019: 69,702
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. Volkswagen Golf
Number sold in first 10 months of 2019: 50,468
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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3. Ford Focus
Number sold in first 10 months of 2019: 49,517
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.
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4. Vauxhall Corsa
Number sold in first 10 months of 2019: 49,341
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
5. Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Number sold in first 10 months of 2019: 46,923
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 10 months of 2019: 46,569
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 10 months of 2019: 34,387
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 10 months of 2019: 33,848
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.
Search for a used Ford Kuga on CarGurus
9. Volkswagen Polo
Number sold in first 10 months of 2019: 32,257
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.
Search for a used Volkswagen Polo on CarGurus
10. Kia Sportage
Number sold in first 10 months of 2019: 30,815
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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