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
July 2019 epitomised this trend, with the 157,198 new cars registered marking a -4.1% drop on the same month last year as well as the fifth consecutive month of decline. Of all vehicle segments monitored by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), it was only Dual Purpose (read SUVs and crossovers), luxury saloons and specialist sports cars that were up in July. All other segments, including superminis, shrunk compared with the previous year.
In terms of fuel types, July was another difficult month for diesel (-22.1% compared with July 2018, and now in its 28th consecutive month of decline). The market for new petrol cars grew by 2.6% (to 103,441 units), and the market for pure battery electric cars by 158.1% (to 2,271 units). However, a -49.6% decline in demand for plug-in hybrid cars shows the continued impact of the Government’s decision earlier this year to remove grants that incentivised consumers to purchase such vehicles.
Year-to-date, new car registrations are now -3.5% behind where they were at this time last year, at 1,426,443 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 seven months of 2019: 48,943
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. Ford Focus
Number sold in first seven months of 2019: 36,102
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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3. Volkswagen Golf
Number sold in first seven months of 2019: 35,781
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.
Search for a used Volkswagen Golf on CarGurus
4. Nissan Qashqai
Number sold in first seven months of 2019: 23,227
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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5. Vauxhall Corsa
Number sold in first seven months of 2019: 33,061
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
6. Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Number sold in first seven months of 2019: 31,606
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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7. Volkswagen Polo
Number sold in first seven months of 2019: 26,173
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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8. Ford Kuga
Number sold in first seven months of 2019: 23,346
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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Number sold in first seven months of 2019: 23,001
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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10. Kia Sportage
Number sold in first seven months of 2019: 21,194
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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