Currently reading: Best-selling cars in the UK of 2023
The Ford Puma retains the top spot in September 2023, followed by the Nissan Qashqai and Vauxhall Corsa

What's hot and what's not? The new car registration data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveals all, so we've been studying the most recent figures to find out which are the best-selling cars in the UK.

The latest figures show the most popular cars for the year to date in 2023, with some retaining a market stronghold against the odds while others fight their way onto the best-sellers list for the first time.  

The Nissan Qashqai finished 2022 as the UK's best-selling car after a year when the automotive industry was blighted by parts shortages and semiconductor production issues. Of the 10 most popular cars in the UK last year, six were crossovers. However, the Qashqai has slipped from the lead spot during 2023.

The top place is currently occupied by another crossover: the Ford Puma. But will the Ford do enough over the rest of 2023 to hold off the likes of the Vauxhall Corsa, Tesla Model Y and Qashqai? 

Read on to see the best-selling cars in the UK so far, and how many units they have sold. 

Best-selling cars in the UK of 2023 so far

1 Ford Puma – 42,136 units

Ford puma 2023

The Puma is the UK’s best-selling car, as well as Ford’s best-seller on our shores (eclipsing the Transit and Transit Custom sales). The small crossover possesses impressive driving dynamics and attractive pricing, and the model range is topped by a fun-filled ST version. It may not be the Fiesta we all know and love, but it’s a good, capable alternative nonetheless.

Read our Ford Puma review

2 Nissan Qashqai – 34,952 units

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The Qashqai, 2022’s top-selling model in the UK, finished the year to date in October in second place, and the British-built crossover continues to appeal to buyers here through its excellent practicality. Its appeal has no doubt been bolstered by the addition of electrified powertrains for its third generation. 

Read our Nissan Qashqai review

3 Vauxhall Corsa – 33,641 units

Vauxhall cora

The Vauxhall Corsa finished second to the Qashqai in 2022, despite having topped the leaderboard for 10 of the 12 months - and it remains in third place after nine months of this year. Its success is in part due to its PSA-developed underpinnings and mix of petrol, diesel and electric powertrains. A facelifted model featuring Vauxhall’s Vizor front end will arrive later this year.

Read our Vauxhall Corsa review

4 Kia Sportage – 31,575 units

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Consistency is key for the Kia Sportage, which entered its fifth generation at the tail end of last year. It looks like the SUV will once again prove a smash hit for Kia in 2023, thanks to its eye-catching design, on-trend powertrains and strong value for money. It consistently finished in the top 10 last year. 

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Read our Kia Sportage review

5 Tesla Model Y – 30,087 units

1 Tesla model y 2022 road test review tracking

Tesla’s influence on the UK car market is ever-expanding, driven by the Model Y - the UK’s fifth most popular car in 2023 as of October. The electric crossover first went on sale last February and quickly established itself as the UK’s most popular electric car, available in long-range and rear-wheel drive specifications. January’s price cuts of up to £8000 further bolstered its appeal against more expensive rivals.

Read our Tesla Model Y review

6 Hyundai Tucson – 29,990 units

1 Hyundai tucson 2021 road test review hero front 2

The Hyundai Tucson is one of the UK’s most popular SUVs and regularly appeared in the top 10 last year. Arguably the most premium option in the top 10, it was renewed in 2021 with a fresh front end that featured a unique, eye-catching lighting set-up. Its plush interior and range of electrified powertrains are attractive propositions for many Brits.

Read our Hyundai Tucson review

7 Nissan Juke – 27,253 units

Nissan juke hybrid front side

The Nissan Juke continues to be a very popular car among UK buyers, finishing September in seventh place. The small crossover went on sale with a brand new design in 2020. Then a facelift arrived in the middle of last year, along with hybrid power for the first time. 

Read our Nissan Juke review

8 Mini 3dr/5dr – 26,249 units 

Mini cooper s front quarter tracking 2022

Despite its age, the Mini hatchback continues to be one of the UK’s most popular cars. Last year, it finished ahead of key rivals including the Volkswagen Polo and Toyota Yaris. With a versatile line-up of petrol, electric and John Cooper Works performance variants, the Mini can always be relied on for drivability and alluring looks. A hotly anticipated new model will arrive next year.

Read our Mini review

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9 Vauxhall Mokka – 25,473 units

Vauxhall mokka electric 2021 front quarter tracking

It should come as no surprise that the Vauxhall Mokka is a hit, given that it’s effectively a Corsa on stilts. It oozes style – especially compared with the previous-generation model – and is competitively priced in both petrol and electric forms. Such is its popularity that is has been in the top 10 of the UK’s best-selling cars since the turn of the year.

Read our Vauxhall Mokka review

10 Audi A3 – 25,452 units

Red 2020 Audi A3 front quarter cornering

Goodbye, Ford Fiesta. The long-running supermini held onto the number-10 spot for months after production ended in July, but it has finally been replaced. The Audi A3 is a worthy best-seller, however, offering a comfortable ride and good body control, plus a plush, roomy interior. The fact that it's also substantially cheaper than the rival Mercedes-Benz A-Class also helps its case.

Audi A3 Sportback review

Join the debate

Add a comment…
sabre 5 October 2023

4 Tesla Model Y – 24,148 units - isn't it 29,148?

LP in Brighton 4 August 2023

On the subject of volume sales, it seems like every test and feature in Autocar this week concerns a vehicle no one is going to buy. I'm all for diversity, but surely this publication needs to focus a bit more on what's happening in the mainstream. Peronally I'd rather read about a new supermini or affordable EV, rather than million dollar prototypes that may never get built. But if we must have features about cars you can't buy, why not more coverage to Japanese Kei cars or contemporary kit cars?  

That said the current UK top 10 is a pretty uninspiring collection...

scotty5 5 June 2023

UK year to date top 10. Puma, Corsa, Qashqai, Juke, Tucson, Sportage, Model Y, Fiesta, Mini and T-Roc

So 3 hatchbacks ( surely no mini can be counted as an SUV? ) and 7 SUVs. There's only two cars there you could describe as budget - the Fiesta and Corsa. Tucson, Sportage, Model Y? You're talking mid £35k upwards.

European year to date top 10. Sandero, T-Roc, Corsa, Clio, 208, Fiat 500, Yaris Cross, Golf, Duster, Octavia.

7 hatchbacks and 3 SUV. And look at the cars - Sandero, Duster, Corsa, Clio, 500 could be described as budget, with the Golf probably the most expensive.

To me that just sums up the UK.

xxxx 6 June 2023
scotty5 wrote:

So 3 hatchbacks ( surely no mini can be counted as an SUV? ) and 7 SUVs. There's only two cars there you could describe as budget - the Fiesta and Corsa. Tucson, Sportage, Model Y? You're talking mid £35k upwards.

7 SUV's, define an SUV.

Regarding budget I'd say it's a fair mix and it always has been. Mini starts from 22.5k, Juke from 21k, Corsa from 19k etc