Best selling cars in the UK 2021

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

Simon Ostler
Oct 14, 2021

Do you 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 2021 so far - the Vauxhall Corsa, or you could also go for something bigger like the Kia Sportage, which is currently sitting at number seven in 2021.

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 it was the Tesla Model 3 that proved to be the most popular model in September - although these figures are skewed somewhat by the way Tesla records its sales.

The best selling cars in September 2021

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 2021 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 2021

1. Vauxhall Corsa

Used 2021 deals from £13,450
Monthly finance from £202*

2. Volkswagen Golf

Used 2021 deals from £16,490
Monthly finance from £302*

3. Ford Fiesta

Used 2021 deals from £17,000
Monthly finance from £259*

4. Ford Puma

Used 2021 deals from £21,990
Monthly finance from £333*

5. Mercedes A-Class

Used 2021 deals from £25,980
Monthly finance from £363*

6. Volkswagen Polo

Used 2021 deals from £13,901
Monthly finance from £230*

7. Kia Sportage

Used 2021 deals from £21,917
Monthly finance from £337*

8. Toyota Yaris

Used 2021 deals from £19,370
Monthly finance from £293*

9. BMW 3 Series

Used 2021 deals from £30,481
Monthly finance from £429*

10. Nissan Qashqai

Used 2021 deals from £20,489
Monthly finance from £284*

Most popular cars by fuel

While electric cars might not be leading the way in terms of overall sales, there is no doubt their popularity is increasing. As it stands in 2021, the number of electric cars sold has almost doubled compared to the same point last year, 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 used electric cars available here on BuyaCar.

This year has seen substantial growth in hybrid and plug-in hybrid car sales, too. If you're keen to be proactive and get on with reducing your carbon footprint, a hybrid car might be a good place to start if you don't yet have the capability to run an electric car day to day.

Any fans of diesel meanwhile might want to look away now, however, because diesel car sales continue to fall on a monthly basis - to the point where they were the least popular type of car in September, even below hybrid and electric cars.

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. In 2018 new diesel car registrations had dropped to 750,165 and made up just 32% of the overall market. By the end of 2019, the proportion of new cars that are powered by diesel had fallen to just 22.7%, and that trend shows no sign of abating as diesel cars amounted to only 16% of the market by the end of 2020. We're over halfway through the 2021, and diesel sales are currently making up 8.9% of the overall market share.

Meanwhile, petrol cars now account for fewer than half the UK's new car sales in 2021 up to this point. The trend 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 recent, and in some areas still ongoing fuel crisis.

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 for the second quarter of 2021, with 94,206 Fiestas changing hands. It's a long way ahead of the next most popular model, the Vauxhall Corsa, which saw 73,366 transactions.

In total, 2,167,504 used cars found new homes over the course of April to July 2021, which is a record for the second quarter of the year. Ignoring the 2020 slump for a moment, Q2 2021 saw used car transactions grow 6.6% on the pre-pandemic levels of 2019. All three months saw growth, with April 5% on 2019, May up 9.9% and June up 4.6%.

Despite a very active three months of trading, the 2021 year to date figures are still 200,000 down on 2019 at the half way stage, but it will be interesting to see if this post-lockdown clamour for cars continues as the year closes out.

Most popular used cars in Q2 2021


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