Best-selling cars in Britain 2019

Ford's Fiesta continues to be Britain's best-selling car in 2019 as sales of diesel cars slump. Full details of last year's top-sellers

BuyaCar team
May 17, 2019

Click on the gallery above to look at the ten best-selling cars last month and how many they sold.

The Ford Fiesta continues its stronghold on the British car market and remains Britain’s best-selling new car. Ford shifted 5,606 new Fiestas in April - over a thousand more than the second most popular car, the Ford Focus, which climbed from sixth place last month.

The Volkswagen Golf placed third, not moving from March's standings.

Nissan’s Qashqai is still the best-selling crossover, placing fourth. While the Hyundai Tucson made a surprise entrance, placing tenth.

The UK new car market was down 4.1% overall, compared to the same time last year.

This is partially due to the continued demise of diesel sales - registrations are down 9.4% year on year, although it should be noted that for April diesel sales were down 21.4% year on year. Petrol demand also fell, down 3.0%, while hybrid vehicle registrations increased 31.1%.

However, plug-in hybrid vehicles fell by 34.6% in April, while year-to-date, plug-ins have fallen by 20.4%. Some have attributed the loss in sales down to the government's decision to scrap the plug-in car grant for everything but fully electric vehicles. 

A total of 161,064 new cars were registered in April 2019, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This is 4.1% down on the 167,911 cars registered in April 2018.

Despite Ford taking the top place, its sales fell 10% year on year.

Lexus was a big winner - registering 884 cars. When compared to April last year, sales are up 30%.

MG continues to fly, with sales up 18% year on year. 980 MGs were registered in April; more than Abarth and Alfa Romeo combined. 

Bentley, BMW, Land Rover, and Mazda, saw demand rise by at least 10 per cent compared with April 2018.


Best-selling cars 2019

Best-selling cars in April 2019


Best-selling cars: the winners

Toyota’s premium offshoot, Lexus, was the biggest winner of the month - recording 884 sales - an increase of 30% with the same time last year.

Mazda also saw a 22% increase compared with the same month last year.

BentleyBMWLand Rover, and Mazda, saw demand rise by at least 10 per cent too.


Best-selling cars: the fallers

Mini sales are down 35% when compared to the same time last year. This might be due to the government’s decision to scrap the plug-in grant - as a big seller for Mini is its Countryman PHEV.

Alfa Romeo sales continue to fall, this time by 21%, while Renault sales fell by 27%.  

Best-selling cars by fuel

Customers continue to avoid diesel cars, with even more drivers deserting the fuel in favour of petrol, hybrid or electric models.

In 2016, 1.2 million diesel cars hit the roads, accounting for almost half of all cars sold that year. But as diesel emissions came under scrutiny and the threat of diesel surcharges and taxes grew, so demand decreased. Two years later, in 2018 new diesel car registrations had dropped to 750,165 and made up just 32 per cent of the market. Now, in 2019, the proportion of new cars that are powered by diesel has fallen just below 30 per cent. 

Petrol cars now account for almost two thirds of the new car market, and electric car sales are growing - but slowly. Last year, 15,474 new electric cars were registered, compared with 13,597 in 2017. Demand was boosted in the final months of the year when the government announced an imminent cut in its electric car grant, which meant that buyers bought cars early to secure the subsidy before funding ran out.

Manufacturers planning to launch a raft of new electric cars in 2019 will be hoping that this rate of growth continues.


Best-selling used cars

The latest SMMT used car sales figures, released in May 2019, show that the Ford Fiesta was the most popular car on the used market for the first quarter of 2019, with 92,798 cars changing hands.

The Fiesta carries on where it left off - as it was the most popular used car for 2018 too, accrewing 322,532 transactions for the year.

In total, 2,020,144 used cars found new homes in the first quarter of 2019 - down 0.6% compared with the same time last year.

Sales of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric cars rose 30.7% year on year. Of these vehicles, hybrids experienced the largest growth - up 34.2%. Pure electric rose 4.8%.

These vehicles only accounted for 1.6% of all transactions - meaning conventional petrol and diesel engines made up 98.3% of the market. Petrol sales were up 1.1%, while diesel sales were down 3.6%


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