Currently reading: Best-selling cars in Europe in 2022
Tesla Model 3 takes the top spot as electrified models outsell diesels

New car registrations in Europe fell 19% year on year in March, while plug-in hybrid and electric models outsold diesels, new data from Jato Dynamics has shown. 

Registrations across 27 European markets dropped to 1,116,419, which is 33% lower than March 2020 and a 37% drop compared with pre-pandemic March 2019. 

Volume for the first quarter of 2022 is 10% lower than in 2020, down to 2.73 million, which is the lowest level since 1985.

Jato said the drop in sales was “a result of the ongoing uncertainty around the availability of new cars and the invasion of Ukraine". 

“Although Ukraine isn't a large market for European car exports, with a small market relative to its population, it remains to be an important source of vehicle parts for major European OEMs,” said Felipe Munoz, global analyst at Jato. 

The drop in sales in Ukraine itself has also affected the overall registration number for Europe. Some 103,300 new cars were sold in the country last year, making it the 20th-biggest market on the continent. 

However, the uptake of PHEVs and EVs remained healthy. Some 244,801 electrified cars were sold for a rise of 10% year on year, compared with 202,113 diesels for a drop of 39%. 

EVs took 62% of all low-emissions car sales, increasing by 46% year on year. PHEVs meanwhile dropped by 22%.

Jato attributed the increased EV uptake on improved government incentives, which don't apply to hybrids in some European countries. 

“We continue to see more and more new EVs enter the market. And with the support of good deals, incentives and shorter waiting times compared with ICE vehicles, it has become easier for consumers to jump on the EV boom,” Munoz said. 

The Tesla Model 3 saloon regained the top spot as European best-seller in March, with a total of 20,013 registrations, bolstered by a glut of European deliveries. This figure was, however, 3% lower than 2021.

It was followed by the Peugeot 208 supermini on 21,013 and the new Tesla Model Y SUV on 18,968. 

The top 10 best-selling models in Europe are listed below. 

The best-selling cars in Europe in 2022

1 Tesla Model 3, 23,013, -3%

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The Tesla Model 3 is a raving success in Europe, topping the sales charts for March with 23,013 units sold. Even the Standard Range model boasts up 254 miles on a single charge, while the Long Range model offers up to 348 miles. It’s also quick, sprinting from 0-62mph in 5.8sec. There’s also a Performance model that's yet to reach Europe. 

2 Peugeot 208: 21,026, -3%

The Peugeot 208 spends its third consecutive month in second place, just pipped to the post by the Model 3. Its popularity is no doubt helped by extensive revisions in line with Peugeot's new design language. Its versatility and affordable price remain attractive, as it's offered with petrol, diesel and electric powertrains. 

3 Tesla Model Y: 18,968, new

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The new Tesla Model Y continues the success of its smaller sibling, the Model 3, with 19,968 sales in March. The SUV went on sale in Europe only in February, and it was also the best-selling car in the UK last month, despite currently being available only in expensive Long Range specification, with a range of 315 miles and 434bhp.

4 Volkswagen Golf, 16,784

A resurgence for the Volkswagen Golf has the popular German hatchback/estate climb to fourth place. It looks like the model will continue its strong sales run in 2022 after finishing last year as Europe’s top-seller. It was hit heavily by supply restraints, but demand remained strong. It was most recently updated in 2020, with a redesign and a selection of petrol, diesel and hybrid powertrains.

5 Dacia Sandero: 16,778, +12%

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The highly affordable Dacia Sandero supermini achieved 12% sales growth year-on-year in March, finishing the month in fourth, having previously topped the list. It became an even more appealing buy last year with the introduction of a new-generation model, featuring much-improved equipment such as LED headlights and a touchscreen infotainment system. 

6 Citroën C3, 16,697, -22%

The Citroēn C3 supermini is now the French firm’s smallest car, after the C1 city car was taken off sale earlier this year. A new entry-level variant will likely bolster sales further: the C3 You starts from just ​​£12,995 yet comes with some decent equipment. 

7 Fiat 500, 16,120, -21%

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The Fiat 500 has been on sale since 2007, and it’s unlikely to be dropped any time soon. The model recently gained an electric variant with battery sizes up to 44kWh. Range is pegged at 199 miles, but mild-hybrid and petrol models remain on sale if electric isn’t your bag. 

8 Ford Puma: 15,937, -10%

The Ford Puma’s driving dynamics and attractive pricing are key draws for owners, and it's looking to carry on last year’s success. The range has swollen recently with the addition of a plush Vignale trim and a warm-blooded ST version. 

9 Toyota Yaris, 15,910, -31%

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The Yaris is as popular as ever in its fourth generation. It’s Toyota’s most successful and biggest-selling model in Europe for good reason and its GR performance variant is one of the best cars we tested last year. 

10 Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, 15,824, -36%

The revamped Opel/Vauxhall Corsa had a successful 2021, finishing as the UK’s best-selling car. Its success is in part due to its PSA-developed underpinnings and mix of petrol, diesel and electric powertrains. 

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Bimfan 26 January 2022

Nothing wrong with Opel/Vauxhall in my opinion, just that British Vauxhall dealers are rubbish.

I still don't like the Peugeot 'icockpit' thingy, so I am surprised to see it doing so well generally, but then if we all liked the same car styles, there wouldn't be the need for so many different manufacturers and models.

Andrew1 26 January 2022
Dacia Sandero missed the second spot by some 100 units. They'll probably overtake the 208 in the second quarter.
dipole 20 December 2021

The 208 is an excellent car and what the numbers don't show is that Stellantis is selling a high proportion of high spec versions where as Clio is selling lower spec ones.  Renault group is probably making more profit on the Sandero than the Clio as the Sandero has always had a very respectable margin.  Keeping the Spanish factories where gearbox and engine are made helps Renault.