Best selling cars in the UK 2022

We run down the top ten most popular cars in the UK, both new and used, and track the shift from traditional fuels to electric power

Craig Hale
Jun 14, 2022

Do you like to live your life at the sharp end of current trends? If you wear the latest fashion and use the most cutting edge phone, why not drive one of the most popular cars, too?

If you're looking for a new car, and you want to make sure you're driving something that's up to date and in vogue, this list of the best-selling cars in the UK will be a good place to start scoping out potential ideas.

The best thing about this top 10 list is the variety of cars that are on it. You could go for the most popular car of 2022 so far - the Vauxhall Corsa - or you could also go for something bigger like the Nissan Qashqai, the best-selling SUV in 2022.

Depending on how relevant you're looking to be, you might be more interested in which cars are the hot topic right now, in which case electric cars capable of more than 200 miles from a full charge like the Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model Y may be of interest, both of which have appeared in the best-selling list earlier in 2022.

The best-selling cars in May 2022

Now, you might be wondering how you're going to be able to afford to buy the very latest cars. Well, there is the option of purchasing a used version of the exact same car that is being sold right now, so you'll be hitting the same trend at a much lower price.

Used car finance can be a great way to make your next car purchase more affordable, you can read about the finer details in our expert guides, but essentially you'll be able to split the cost of the car over a period of up to five years with a series of smaller monthly payments. You won't own the car while you're paying for it, but you'll at least be able to drive it.

The best news is that BuyaCar is here to do all of the hard work for you. All you need to do is pick your favourite car, and we'll help you to complete your finance application. We'll also arrange delivery of the car right to your door, so you don't even need to leave the house.

The most popular cars of 2022 to date are listed below, so you can get straight on and find the one that appeals to you, and it won't be long until you're hitting the road in your fashionable new car.

The most popular cars of 2022

Vauxhall Corsa front three quarters view
1. Vauxhall Corsa

Used deals from £11,895

The Vauxhall Corsa is extremely popular, and it's quite easy to see why. Aside from its modern looks the Corsa is affordable with PCP finance, comfortable and well equipped inside, and powered by strong and economical engines.

It's a relatively practical small car, with a good amount of boot space and five doors, which even makes it usable as a family car. The Corsa has always appealed to a younger audience, and this latest version looks to be expanding on that fact by outselling even its closest rivals by a wide margin.

2. Ford Puma

Used deals from £16,998

Among the huge variety of SUVs and crossovers available on the market today, the Ford Puma has proven one of the most popular in 2022 after featuring in the top 10 in 2021. It's been around for a couple of years now following the resurrection of the Puma name, and it has announced itself as a capable competitor to the likes of the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur.

Along with its bold styling and tidy interior, the Puma is also comfortable, good to drive, and powered by the same strong engines that have graced the likes of the Fiesta and Ford Focus.

Nissan Qashqai front three quarters view
3. Nissan Qashqai

Used deals from £15,780

The Nissan Qashqai is credited with starting the large crossover boom when the first version launched in 2006. This third generation builds on the previous two versions' successes, adding even more equipment. Every version gets bright LED headlights, rear parking sensors and digital dials, while top-spec Tekna+ models get massaging front seats, keyless entry and an upgraded Bose sound system.

The 1.3-litre petrol engine comes in two forms: 140hp and 158hp. It gets mild hybrid assistance as standard, which promises to reduce emissions and boost mpg figures, while an automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive are options, too.

4. Kia Sportage

Used deals Limited stock

The Kia Sportage offers a raised ride height and a decent amount of boot space, helping to firm its position as one of Britain’s favourite SUVs, and indeed the best seller this year to date.

A new version hit the roads early in 2022, so it’s this one that will make up the majority of Kia’s sales as the year goes on. There’s a wide choice of 1.6-lite engines, ranging from regular petrol and diesel versions to mild hybrid, self-charging hybrid and a plug-in hybrid capable of around 20-30 miles of electric motoring in real-world conditions.

5. Mini Hatchback

Used deals from £7,500

It's never a surprise to find that the Mini Hatchback is still a hugely popular car. We just can't turn away from the style and charisma that oozes from every surface. After a controversial start to life, the new Mini has long since found acceptance from the British public.

This latest version of the Mini first launched in 2014, but two updates in the meantime have kept it feeling fresh, while the driving experience remains sharp and exciting. The introduction of the new Mini Electric in 2020 has also helped to broaden the Mini's appeal.

6. Hyundai Tucson

Used deals from £23,289

The Hyundai Tucson shares many of its parts with the Kia Sportage above, including numerous hybrid versions of the 1.6-litre engine. Its distinctive grille design that incorporates LED daytime running lights helps it to stand out from the crowd.

Part of its appeal is its large 620-litre boot, which offers significantly more space than you’d find in the Volkswagen Tiguan, Mazda CX-5, and even the Sportage.

7. Kia Niro

Used deals from £15,000

There’s a new replacement for the current Kia Niro on its way later this year, but that hasn’t put drivers off buying this first-generation model which benefits from the company’s 100,000-mile, seven-year warranty.

The Niro made a name for itself as one of the first cars to offer both self-charging and plug-in hybrid setups and no regular petrol or diesel engine. A third, electric-only model offers a choice of two battery sizes in the form of the e-Niro.

8. Vauxhall Mokka

Used deals from £19,421

The Vauxhall Mokka has been on sale for over a decade in various forms, but it’s this new version that helped boost Vauxhall’s sales figures. Its distinctive styling and low roofline help it to stand out against competition, but it’s not the most practical in its class and headroom in the rear can be quite limited.

It’s built alongside the Peugeot 2008 and DS 3 Crossback, so benefits from the group’s efficient and punchy 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engines. There’s also an electric version - badged Mokka-e - capable of over 200 miles from a full charge.

Ford Kuga front three quarters view
9. Ford Kuga

Used deals from £21,888

The Ford Kuga has long been a family favourite for those who need a bit more space and a raised driving position. It's based on the Ford Focus, and feels similar in size from behind the wheel.

While diesel versions have been available, new cars only come with a 1.5-litre petrol or a pair of 2.5-litre hybrids. The self-charging hybrid should return about 50mpg, while the plug-in version will exceed 280mpg when plugged in regularly, according to Ford.

Mercedes A-Class front three quarters view
10. Mercedes A-Class

Used deals from £16,995

This Volkswagen Golf-sized hatchback has long been a best-seller thanks to its range of efficient and powerful engines and a good range of equipment levels, not to mention the desirable badge on the bonnet.

The pick of the bunch in this second-generation model is the A180 which uses a Renault-sourced 1.3-litre petrol engine. Eco-conscious individuals may want to consider the A250e plug-in hybrid, while power freaks will love the A35 and A45 hot hatches.

Most popular cars by fuel

While electric cars might not be leading the way in terms of overall sales, they made a pretty strong start to life in 2022. In February, the number of electric cars sold was almost three times the number from February 2021, and so far this year the sale of EVs is fast approaching double the amount from the same period last year. Conversely, plug-in hybrid sales remain virtually unchanged in the first quarter of 2022 compared with the first quarter of 2021, making up less than 7% of the market  in 2022 to date.

With a whole load more new electric and hybrid cars hitting the market over the next 12 months we expect to see that kind of growth continue all year long. So if you're looking to get ahead of the curve and join the new wave of electric car drivers, you can check out a range of affordable used electric cars available here on BuyaCar.

Any fans of diesel meanwhile might want to look away now, though, because diesel car sales continue to fall on a monthly basis - to the point where they were the least popular type of 2022 so far, making up just 5.7% of all new cars sold.

It's a dramatic drop in popularity. Overall diesel sales in 2016 reached 1.2 million, accounting for almost half of all new cars sold in the UK. But with diesel emissions coming under greater scrutiny, and the threat of diesel surcharges and taxes growing, demand has decreased dramatically. There were 135,773 recorded diesel car sales in 2021, a number that amounted to just 8.2% of the overall market share.

Meanwhile, petrol cars accounted for fewer than half of the UK's new car sales in 2021. The trend of drivers moving away from traditionally fuelled cars is becoming clearer, but it will be a while yet before the supremacy of petrol cars is overthrown entirely - in the eyes of many drivers, there is still no substitute for the security and convenience that comes with petrol - even if electric car drivers might have enjoyed skipping the queues during the fuel crisis not too long ago.

Most popular used cars

The latest SMMT used car sales figures show that the Ford Fiesta remained the most popular car on the used market into the first quarter of 2022, with 73,851 Fiestas changing hands (more than the 70,494 sold in Q4 2022). It's a long way ahead of the next most popular model, the Vauxhall Corsa, which saw 61,236 transactions.

Used car sales are showing signs of recovery, with 7,530,956 used cars finding new homes in 2021, up 11.5% from 6,752,959 in 2020 - a year badly affected by lockdowns and other restrictions. 2021 sales were still 5.5% below the pre-pandemic five-year average.

The most popular colour used car in the first three months of 2022 by a long shot was black, followed by blue, silver, grey and white.

Most popular used cars in Q1 2022

 

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