In case you hadn’t heard, the Ford Fiesta has been best-seller in the UK for a number of years. Here’s what other European Union countries are buying

The top ten best-selling cars in the UK are easy to spot; on every street there’s at least one Fiesta, Corsa, Focus or Golf.

What is the best-selling car in other countries, though? Find out below which cars the rest of Europe loves as much as the UK loves the Ford Fiesta, measured by market analysts JATO Dynamics:

Austria: Volkswagen Golf

With no mainstream car manufacturers, Austria’s top-seller can’t be from a domestic manufacturer. 4281 buyers have flocked to the Volkswagen Golf so far this year, while the next two are also VW big-hitters; the Polo, at 3394, and the Tiguan at 3066.

Belgium: Volkswagen Golf

The same can be said for Belgium, but clearly being wedged between France and Germany has its effects: the Volkswagen Golf was the most popular car last year, followed by the Renault Clio and Hyundai Tucson. 5426, 4868 and 4007 have found owners respectively so far this year.

Croatia: Skoda Octavia

It's all change in Croatia; in 2016, the best-sellers were the Nissan Qashqai and Toyota Yaris, while this year, the Skoda Octavia, Renault Clio and Opel Astra take the top three, with 1253, 1090 and 699 sales respectively.

Czechia: Skoda Octavia

No two guesses which carmaker rules supreme here - the Skoda Octavia has sold 9510 units and the second-best-seller was the Fabia, which has sold 7430, in fact, half of the country’s top ten best-sellers are Skodas. The Rapid takes third, with 5210 sold.

Denmark: Peugeot 208

Peugeot’s only top spot in Europe this year is in Denmark, where 3915 208s found homes so far, while the next best-seller is the Nissan Qashqai, of which 3095 were sold. Trailing in third place was the Volkswagen Golf; 2245 have found homes this year.

Estonia: Skoda Octavia

Estonia has a proclivity for larger cars, it would seem, as the Skoda Octavia takes pole position having sold 361 cars, while 347 and 289 units put the Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Avensis in second and third place respectively.

Finland: Skoda Octavia

Skoda claims another victory in Finland with the Octavia – 2105 were sold there this year so far. Second place was taken by the Nissan Qashqai, although only slightly less – 1890 – were sold across the year. The Toyota Yaris took third place with 1715 sales.

France: Renault Clio

Little surprise here; France’s top car across this year is the Renault Clio, and a whopping 42,374 took it right to the top. The Peugeot 208 takes second place, with 37,241 units being sold, while the other French supermini, the Citroën C3, was overtaken last year from third by the Peugeot 3008, with 30,005 sold.

Germany: Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen took a 1, 2, 3 in Germany last year, but there's change at third place - the Golf has sold 65,327 cars in the country. It sells so well that the second-place Passat sold less than half this number; 24,370, while the Ford Focus now follows just behind on 23,383. The third position spot was previously the Passat, with the Tiguan in second.

Greece: Toyota Yaris

The Toyota Yaris takes the top spot in Greece again, with 2267 cars sold, compared to the second-place Peugeot 208’s 1791 units sold. Third goes to the Nissan Micra; 1456 have Greek homes across 2018 so far.

Hungary: Suzuki Vitara

Hungarian buyers are hungry (sorry) for the Suzuki Vitara, quite probably because it's made there -  the model sold 4300 units there so far this year. Meanwhile, the Skoda Octavia sold 2246 down in second place, and the Opel Astra has sold 1683.

Ireland: Nissan Qashqai

Hyundai had well and truly taken hold in Ireland; the Tucson was the best-selling car across the Irish sea in 2016 and 2017, but has this year been usurped by the Nissan Qashqai, which sold 2968 units this year so far to the Hyundai's 2822. The Volkswagen Golf completes the top three, with 2521 sales.

Italy: Fiat Panda

Nationalism wins, once again, with a Fiat 1, 2, 3 – the Fiat Panda is the best-selling car so far this year, with 43,486 finding homes. The Fiat 500, having shifted 21,503, while the 500X was a close third on 21,307. It has been a 60/40 split between Fiat Chrysler group cars and other manufacturers in the past, with the Renault Clio, Ford Fiesta, and Volkswagens Polo and Golf in the top ten, too.

Latvia: Volkswagen Golf

Another win for the Golf – it claims a small victory this year, with 309 sold overall. The Nissan Qashqai - last year's best-seller - came in second, having sold 273 units, while the third-place Toyota RAV4 sold 187. 

Lithuania: Fiat 500

Fiat’s second pole position came in Lithuania, where the 500 has found 891 homes, while the Fiat 500X overtook the Skoda Octavia last year to become second best-seller, on 629. The Octavia sunk to third with 382.

Luxembourg: Volkswagen Golf

It's almost another douze points for the Volkswagen Group from Luxembourg this year; the Volkswagen Golf takes top spot, while the Tiguan took second and the Renault Clio snatched third from the Audi A3. Sales were 898, 385 and 363 respectively.

Netherlands: Volkswagen Polo

It's all change for the Dutch! The Renault Clio has been ousted from its top spot and into third place - the Volkswagen Polo, Ford Fiesta and Renault Clio make up the big three, with 5643, 4448, and 4192 sales. 

Norway: Nissan Leaf

Surprise! The Volkswagen Golf was the best-selling car in Norway last year, but it's been overtaken by the Nissan Leaf, with 3995 sold. The Golf slipped into second place, but has sold a quarter less than the Leaf’s Norwegian total, at 2986. The BMW i3 slipped from second to third place, at 2043. 

Poland: Skoda Octavia

Skoda took another top two in Poland, with the Octavia and Fabia taking first and second place with the narrowest of margins separating the two; the Octavia taking 7267 and Fabia taking 7106 sales in the country. The Toyota Yaris took third, on 5735. 

Portugal: Renault Clio

French superminis take first and joint second in Portugal, as the Renault Clio sold 5172 as the country’s best-seller, and the Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 208 both sold 2577.

Romania: Dacia Logan

Dacia took its home market by storm last year, and continues to do so. The Logan and Duster make up 2018's top two, with the former finding homes in 5220 garages, and the latter parked in 2399. The Skoda Octavia took third place with 1201, and Sandero slipped off the top three at fourth in the Romanian market.

Slovakia: Skoda Fabia

The Skoda Fabia took pole position in Slovakia, while its big brother, the Octavia, wasn’t far behind. The Octavia was bought by 1909 Slovakians, and the Fabia was bought by 1778. The Rapid, in third place, sold 1160.

Slovenia: Renault Clio

The Volkswagen Golf climbed to second in the Slovenian market in 2017 where it has stayed; with 1101 sales ensure its lead over the Polo, which sold 986. First place goes to the Renault Clio, though, with 1582 sales. The Clio is built in Slovenia in facelifted form, which helps it maintain its lead there.

Spain: Seat Ibiza

What’s Spanish for ‘quelle surprise’? The Seat Ibiza and Leon take gold and silver in Spain, with 13,704 and 12,308 finding a place in the sun so far this year, and the Ateca-rivalling Nissan Qashqai's 10,673 sales give it third place - that'll upset Seat. Surprisingly, though, the rest of the top ten is a healthy mix. 

Sweden: Volvo XC60

There was uproar in 2016 when the Volkswagen Golf took the lead in Sweden’s car market from Volvo, but three Volvos combined took second: the S80, V70 and XC70. Volvo was back on top in 2017, and today, the S90 and V90 are in pole position on 11,041, followed by the XC60, with 5461 sales. The Golf was pushed down into third place; 5432 leaves it just below second place.

Switzerland: Skoda Octavia

With no native carmakers of any large volume, the Swiss buy the Skoda Octavia, Volkswagen Golf and Volkswagen Tiguan more than any other cars. 2752 have bought an Octavia so far this year, and 2299 and 1650 have bought Golfs and Tiguans.

UK: Ford Fiesta

The Fiesta is perched atop the lofty list of the UK’s top-sellers, with 40,619 sold this year. 26,685 Volkswagen Golf and 21,171 Nissan Qashqai sales cement second and third places for the best-seller regulars. You can find the rest of the best-seller list here

Read more: 

Top 10 best-selling cars in Britain

The most expensive number plates sold in the UK

The 12 most expensive cars sold at auction

Our Verdict

Mini Cooper S

Now in its third generation, we find out if the bigger, cleverer and more mature Mini can still entertain like it predecessors did

Join the debate

Comments
87

20 January 2017
Why anyone would choose to buy that overpriced, unreliable turgid piece of machinery the VW Golf is beyond me.

Indifferent handling, an interior which makes Leonard Cohen's greatest hits seem cheerful, average reliability, diesel engines which not only have cheat devices but also are as rough as a badgers behind all line up against it.

Give me the keys to a Focus or a Honda Civic any day, usually cheaper, better built, better to drive, more reliable etc etc

20 January 2017
odie_the_dog wrote:

Why anyone would choose to buy that overpriced, unreliable turgid piece of machinery the VW Golf is beyond me.

Indifferent handling, an interior which makes Leonard Cohen's greatest hits seem cheerful, average reliability, diesel engines which not only have cheat devices but also are as rough as a badgers behind all line up against it.

Give me the keys to a Focus or a Honda Civic any day, usually cheaper, better built, better to drive, more reliable etc etc

I'll take the bait...firstly, unreliable? Hmmm..had a Mk4 Golf, Mk5 and two Mk7's and not ONE problem with any of them. Don't tar every car with the same brush. (For the record I haven't had those cars back to back before you say I am an all out VW fan).

Indifferent handling - yep I would say a Focus handles better but as an all rounder it's a good balance and I am not the first and won't be the last to say this and the Mk7 is fairly decent - the Mk4 was woeful admittedly.

Interior...yeah OK, the interior on my current GTD must be awful according to you. The interior isn't why I bought it, but it sure is a nice place to sit without having the pretentious status that goes with say an A3 or 1 series. To add, a friend with a new Focus sat in mine and said how nice it was...

Rough diesel engines - really? Mine isn't rough and the same engine performs well on that front in other VAG cars too, eg Octavia, Leon etc.

And the last point, yep I would say the Focus is generally better to drive when comparing all versions and it is cheaper, yes you are absolutely right. Better built? That's down to opinion and perhaps personal experiences. The Civic? I like Honda, but gees, you're trying to tell me that ugly Civic is a better car?! Yeah right - that's why it outsells the Golf does it?

But by all means hang on to your obviously ongoing hatred of the car, for every single one of us who have bought one are wrong, and you, are completely right. Well done.

20 January 2017
odie_the_dog wrote:

Why anyone would choose to buy that overpriced, unreliable turgid piece of machinery the VW Golf is beyond me.

Indifferent handling, an interior which makes Leonard Cohen's greatest hits seem cheerful, average reliability, diesel engines which not only have cheat devices but also are as rough as a badgers behind all line up against it.

Give me the keys to a Focus or a Honda Civic any day, usually cheaper, better built, better to drive, more reliable etc etc

I'll take the bait...firstly, unreliable? Hmmm..had a Mk4 Golf, Mk5 and two Mk7's and not ONE problem with any of them. Don't tar every car with the same brush. (For the record I haven't had those cars back to back before you say I am an all out VW fan).

Indifferent handling - yep I would say a Focus handles better but as an all rounder it's a good balance and I am not the first and won't be the last to say this and the Mk7 is fairly decent - the Mk4 was woeful admittedly.

Interior...yeah OK, the interior on my current GTD must be awful according to you. The interior isn't why I bought it, but it sure is a nice place to sit without having the pretentious status that goes with say an A3 or 1 series. To add, a friend with a new Focus sat in mine and said how nice it was...

Rough diesel engines - really? Mine isn't rough and the same engine performs well on that front in other VAG cars too, eg Octavia, Leon etc.

And the last point, yep I would say the Focus is generally better to drive when comparing all versions and it is cheaper, yes you are absolutely right. Better built? That's down to opinion and perhaps personal experiences. The Civic? I like Honda, but gees, you're trying to tell me that ugly Civic is a better car?! Yeah right - that's why it outsells the Golf does it?

But by all means hang on to your obviously ongoing hatred of the car, for every single one of us who have bought one are wrong, and you, are completely right. Well done.

20 January 2017
AddyT wrote:
odie_the_dog wrote:

Why anyone would choose to buy that overpriced, unreliable turgid piece of machinery the VW Golf is beyond me.

Indifferent handling, an interior which makes Leonard Cohen's greatest hits seem cheerful, average reliability, diesel engines which not only have cheat devices but also are as rough as a badgers behind all line up against it.

Give me the keys to a Focus or a Honda Civic any day, usually cheaper, better built, better to drive, more reliable etc etc

I'll take the bait...firstly, unreliable? Hmmm..had a Mk4 Golf, Mk5 and two Mk7's and not ONE problem with any of them. Don't tar every car with the same brush. (For the record I haven't had those cars back to back before you say I am an all out VW fan).

Indifferent handling - yep I would say a Focus handles better but as an all rounder it's a good balance and I am not the first and won't be the last to say this and the Mk7 is fairly decent - the Mk4 was woeful admittedly.

Interior...yeah OK, the interior on my current GTD must be awful according to you. The interior isn't why I bought it, but it sure is a nice place to sit without having the pretentious status that goes with say an A3 or 1 series. To add, a friend with a new Focus sat in mine and said how nice it was...

Rough diesel engines - really? Mine isn't rough and the same engine performs well on that front in other VAG cars too, eg Octavia, Leon etc.

And the last point, yep I would say the Focus is generally better to drive when comparing all versions and it is cheaper, yes you are absolutely right. Better built? That's down to opinion and perhaps personal experiences. The Civic? I like Honda, but gees, you're trying to tell me that ugly Civic is a better car?! Yeah right - that's why it outsells the Golf does it?

But by all means hang on to your obviously ongoing hatred of the car, for every single one of us who have bought one are wrong, and you, are completely right. Well done.

Reliability surveys never put VW cars at the top end. odie_the_dog mentioned Honda Civic as a better alternative. It certainly is, as far as reliability is concerned, and in many other aspects, too. But Europe sticks to European made cars, maybe wisely, since they want to keep European employed.

21 January 2017
odie_the_dog wrote:

Why anyone would choose to buy that overpriced, unreliable turgid piece of machinery the VW Golf is beyond me.

Indifferent handling, an interior which makes Leonard Cohen's greatest hits seem cheerful, average reliability, diesel engines which not only have cheat devices but also are as rough as a badgers behind all line up against it.

Give me the keys to a Focus or a Honda Civic any day, usually cheaper, better built, better to drive, more reliable etc etc

Focus? As soon as you say you like that shitheap all merit to your views is lost.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

22 January 2017
Or any of these cars you mention? Actually don't answer, as I really don't care.

I can't stand Nissan Jukes. Vile things. I've never driven one either. Probably an excellent car, but to me, all I want to do is punch the car right between it's horrible headlights and kick it up it's stunted posterior. I am sure owners all over the country are horrified when they turn up back at the local NCP and find me attempting to start a fight with their car. It just does that to me. Same with Nissan micras for some reason. Weird.

But we're all entitled to our own opinions no matter how unfounded/deluded/unreasonable they are.

Spanner

31 May 2017
odie_the_dog wrote:

Why anyone would choose to buy that overpriced, unreliable turgid piece of machinery the VW Golf is beyond me.

Indifferent handling, an interior which makes Leonard Cohen's greatest hits seem cheerful, average reliability, diesel engines which not only have cheat devices but also are as rough as a badgers behind all line up against it.

Give me the keys to a Focus or a Honda Civic any day, usually cheaper, better built, better to drive, more reliable etc etc

Oh well, your decision

1 June 2017
odie_the_dog wrote:

Why anyone would choose to buy that overpriced, unreliable turgid piece of machinery the VW Golf is beyond me.

Indifferent handling, an interior which makes Leonard Cohen's greatest hits seem cheerful, average reliability, diesel engines which not only have cheat devices but also are as rough as a badgers behind all line up against it.

Give me the keys to a Focus or a Honda Civic any day, usually cheaper, better built, better to drive, more reliable etc etc

I've rented the latest Focus, and that interior is bargain basement disgrace.
My Mk5 Edition 30, highly tuned, ran like a champ for 4 years, 70000km, no problems, only annoying thing was rattle from hatch door almost right from the start, easily fixed with a bit of tape. And GTI interior, the seat, the steering wheel, the ergonomics, the touch screen nav system (that neither Audi or Porsche had)...Focus, puleease...

No manual - no fun

20 January 2017
What do you mean the Opel Astra and Corsa are the only non-Germans in the top ten? Opel is German.

20 January 2017
Opel is General Motors which is American.
Steam cars are due a revival.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S road test review hero front
    Car review
    22 June 2018
    Is AMG's rapid GLC 63 SUV the answer to your prayers, or to a question nobody’s asking?
  • Dacia Duster 2018 first drive review hero front
    First Drive
    22 June 2018
    It's still not as refined as other SUVs, but in terms of sheer value the second-generation Duster is very much in a class of its own
  • Ford Ka+ Active 2018 first drive review hero front
    First Drive
    22 June 2018
    This SUV-inspired makeover for Ford’s city-friendly small car will find its fans, but the Ka+ Active doesn’t set any new benchmarks for the class
  • Suzuki Swift Sport 2018 long-term review hero front
    First Drive
    22 June 2018
    The Japanese hot hatch is all grown up in terms of character, technology and price, but is it still a fun-loving kid at heart? Let’s find out
  • 2018 Mitsubishi Shogun Sport 4
    First Drive
    21 June 2018
    Shogun Sport name returns to the UK, attached to a seven-seat 4x4 that, Mitsubishi hopes, deftly combines practicality, comfort and toughness