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
May 2019 epitomised this trend, with the 183,724 new cars registered marking a -4.6% drop on the same month last year. Even the usually resilient markets for superminis and small family cars suffered, although together they still account for just over half of all new cars sold.
In terms of fuel types, May was another difficult month for diesel (-18.3% compared with May 2018). The market for new petrol cars grew by 1%, and the market for alternatively fuelled vehicles by 11.7% (to 12,142 units), the latter due to increasing demand for standard hybrid and pure battery electric cars. By contrast, demand for plug-in hybrids fell by 40.6%, which the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says is the result of the Government removing grants that incentivised consumers to purchase such vehicles.
Year-to-date, new car registrations are now -3.1% behind where they were at this time last year, at 1,045,824 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 five months of 2019: 35,790
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 five months of 2019: 26,789
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 five months of 2019: 26,020
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. Vauxhall Corsa
Number sold in first five months of 2019: 24,368
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 five months of 2019: 23,951
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 five months of 2019: 23,847
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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7. Volkswagen Polo
Number sold in first four months of 2019: 19,013
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 five months of 2019: 16,724
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. Kia Sportage
Number sold in first five months of 2019: 15,893
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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Number sold in first five months of 2019: 15,502
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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