The figures are in – which cars have you been buying more than anything else?
4 October 2018

Established brands and models dominate the top 10 list of best-selling cars in the UK, with the hatchback ruling supreme. However, latest sales figures show that some newer additions to Britain’s roads are growing in popularity, despite an overall slowdown in sales.

Click here to read about the latest new car sales figures for the UK market

Britain's best-selling cars of 2018 

1. Ford Fiesta – 79,416 registrations

The Fiesta has been a British favourite for decades and shows no signs of changing. The Fiesta's sales figures are well ahead of those of its closest rivals, even though it’s not the cheapest choice in the segment. This performance is well deserved, though. The supermini is hugely impressive, as our 4.5-star review proves. We particularly like its ride, handling, interior quality and smooth engine range.

2. Volkswagen Golf - 52,162 registrations

The Golf is another classic name in motoring that attracts legions of diehard fans who keep it riding high in the charts, even with pressure from VW's emissions scandal. Those concerns aside, the seventh-generation Golf, including the newly introduced facelifted version, is a consummate all-rounder. In our review, we called it the best hatchback in the world — and we stand by that assessment.

3. Vauxhall Corsa – 43,481 registrations

The Corsa is another established doyen in the UK and Vauxhall’s perennial rival to the Fiesta. The latest generation arrived in 2014 and offers something for most people, from the 74bhp 1.4-litre petrol option to the 202bhp VXR version. It’s competitively priced, drives and rides well, and is designed and specced to please the car's large fan base. After slipping to fifth in 2018, the Corsa has rocketed back up to third after a bumper September. The next version - due in 2019 - should further spruce up sales.

Our Verdict

Seventh generation Vauxhall Astra review hero front

Is it seventh time lucky for the British-built Vauxhall Astra, as it takes the fight to the Ford Focus and Skoda Octavia for hatchback supremacy

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4. Nissan Qashqai – 41,943 registrations

Is it really 12 years since Nissan’s now-ubiquitous crossover first arrived? Its blend of hatchback size and SUV pretensions have proved a huge draw for customers and it’s now the best-selling family SUV in the country, leaving a trail of imitators in its wake. The second-generation model, released in 2014, keeps dynamic, economic and interior standards high, garnering a 4.5-star review from our road test team. No wonder it’s holding firm in the sales league table.

5. Ford Focus – 40,222 registrations

The Focus has delivered an outstanding drive since it replaced the Escort with aplomb in 1998, offering impressive road manners at a reasonable price. It has been so good, in fact, that we were slightly disappointed by the diluted dynamics of the latest version. However, as our review notes, it’s still a very appealing, complete car. It looks good, has a strong and economical engine range and offers a lot of quality for the price.

6. Volkswagen Polo - 34,353 registrations

The Polo has had something of a reinvention for its current generation, and now resembles a slightly smaller Golf. Modelling a cheaper car on the UK's second-best-seller is not going to hurt sales one little bit, and the Polo has shot from #9 on the top-sellers list, where it leapfrogged the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and relegating the Vauxhall Mokka X out of the rankings, to sixth, overtaking the Mini, Ford Kuga and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

7. Mini – 33,876 registrations

Britain's appetite for the Mini is far stronger than the European average, perhaps because each model is still built in this country. The car was recently facelifted (it gained new Union Jack-motif rear lights) and it'll gain an all-electric variant next year. But the best-selling version remains the one that stays truest to the original: the three-door hatchback. While too high in price to fight it out at the top of this list, the Mini's fashionable looks and high-quality interior leave it as a firm favourite and, as such, it's comfortably nestled in the top 10 and unlikely to fall out any time soon.

8. Ford Kuga – 32,480 registrations

Britain's second-best-selling SUV is the Kuga, as Ford's hold on the UK market strengthens in 2018. It's decent-handling and refined, and it even rides well. In addition, it has that magic combination of being an SUV and having the blue oval on its snout and rear. It's little wonder that it's sold so well so far.

9. Mercedes-Benz A-Class - 31,800 registrations

Mercedes' smallest model climbs from 10th last year to seventh so far in 2018, although that's a drop of one place since January. The A-Class has, however, widened its lead over rivals such as the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series. There's a new model arriving in showrooms later this year; this can either boost sales, with the excitement of a new model and deals available on the outgoing car, or hinder them, with the changeover period required to introduce a new model to market. 

10. Kia Sportage - 28,779 registrations

Kia's best-seller has always hovered just below tenth place, but a bumper September has helped it to shove the Mercedes-Benz C-Class into eleventh, and secure it a place on this list, for now. Its success is testament to Kia's growth in the UK since the Credit Crunch in 2008, and the popularity of SUVs overall, especially compared with saloons - the C-Class was the only saloon car on the list until the Sportage relegated it to eleventh.

Read more: 

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Join the debate


6 September 2016
Surely its only a matter of time before the Astra and Corsa overtake the sales of the Focus and Fiesta? We all know the Corsa is a light makeover of the previous version, but its still a very capable, fresher offering than the Fiesta. The Astra seems to be well rated and looks good to me, and again, a newer alternative. On the evidence of its latest offerings, the Fiesta may well lose its dynamic advantages with the replacement model, so maybe then other manufacturers will take a lead on the ever popular Ford.

6 September 2016
I can't see Vauxhall outselling Ford anytime soon. Cars don't sell to the masses on their dynamic ability, so no matter how much Ford dilutes the driving experience of the forthcoming Fiesta, I'm sure it will still reign supreme in the sales chart. If you think back to the late eighties/early nineties when the Fiesta and Escort were well off the pace dynamically, they still outsold all their rivals.


6 September 2016
...well, guessing, that on the very rare occasions the Corsa has outsold the Fiesta it's been nothing more than a statistical blip. It might happen during the odd month, but never over the course of a year, for example.


6 September 2016
...but in europe as a whole the Corsa did indeed outsell the Fiesta from 1997 to 2004, 2007 & 2008. Though my previous comments refer to the UK only.

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