Best-selling cars in Britain 2019

It was the Vauxhall Corsa once again proving top dog in the popularity stakes, while the Ford Fiesta also saw competition from in-house

BuyaCar team
Dec 5, 2019

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

The Vauxhall Corsa returned to the top of the table as the best-selling car in Britain during November, as the Ford Fiesta dropped to third in overall sales behind the resurgent Ford Kuga.

It was the Kuga this month that lead the SUV charge, with the Nissan Qashqai and Volkswagen Tiguan also achieving high sales.

But it was hatchbacks that proved most popular overall, with the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Mercedes A-Class all selling more than 3,700 models. The Mini Hatchback and VW Polo also ranked among November’s top sellers.

Overall, the UK new car market saw an overall drop of 1.3% in registrations compared with November 2019, a welcome note of stability after successive drop offs in September and October. Diesel cars continued to suffer large falls in sales, even more so than in prior months, with a staggering annual drop in registrations of 27.2%, while Petrol sales were up by a modest 2%.

Electric powered cars continued to see growth, with fully-electric models (4,652) outselling plug-in hybrids (4,362) in November. That ensured over 30,000 new electric cars have been registered in 2019, while the combined overall market share of electric and hybrid powered cars rose to 14.2%.

In total, 156,621 new cars were registered in November 2019 according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Ford remains the market leader, thanks to the success of the Kuga along with the Fiesta and Fiesta the manufacturer took 10.37% of the market share, with VW (9.78%) and BMW (7.43%) completing the top three.


Best-selling cars 2019

Best-selling cars in October 2019

Best-selling cars: the winners

Porsche once again saw the biggest increases in overall sales in November - recording 1,899 sales at an increase of 619% compared with this time last year.

Alpine, AudiDS, JeepLexus and MG all saw demand rise by at least 10% compared with November 2018. 

Best-selling cars: the fallers

This is turning into a very troubling run for Smart, now celebrating its third month in a row as the holder of the unfortunate title of biggest sales drop, with year-on-year sales down a disastrous 91% after similarly bad showings of -92% last month and -85.9% in September.

The lengthy list of manufacturers that made losses of over 10% includes Abarth, Alfa Romeo, BentleyDaciaFiatHyundaiJaguar, KiaLotus, MaseratiMiniMitsubishi, RenaultSsangyongSuzuki and Vauxhall.

Best-selling cars by fuel

New diesel car sales continue to fall, with 36,941 diesels sold in November representing another substantial year-on-year drop of 27.2%.

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 per cent of the overall market. At this point in 2019, the proportion of new cars that are powered by diesel has fallen to just 23.6%. 

As a result, petrol cars now make up almost two thirds of the UK's new car sales, however electric car sales are beginning to pick up some momentum. Electric cars are becoming a more and more viable opiton for a growing percentage of drivers, and although total sales reached only 4,652, that's still a growth of 228.8% on last year.

Hybrids also gained for the most part, plug-in variants saw a rise of 34.8% year-on-year, while mild hybrids and HEVs also saw relatively substantial gains during November.

Manufacturers planning to launch a raft of new electric cars through the remainder of 2019 and into 2020 will be hoping this trend continues.

Best-selling used cars

The latest SMMT used car sales figures, released in July 2019, show that the Ford Fiesta remained the most popular car on the used market for the second quarter of 2019, with 88,446 cars changing hands.

As with the Fiesta's perfomance in new car sales, it appears totally unbeatable in the popularity stakes - as it was also the most popular used car for 2018 too, accrewing 322,532 transactions for the year.

In total, 2,034,236 used cars found new homes during the second quarter of 2019 - down 2.8% compared to last year.

Also in keeping with new car trends, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric cars gained 24.8% year-on-year with used transactions totalling 33,492. Of these vehicles, it was pure electric vehicles that have seen the largest growth, with an increase of 32.8%.

In total, the share for these low-emission alternatives only accounted for 1.7% of all transactions - with conventional petrol and diesel engines making up 98.3% of the market. They were both down year-on-year however, with petrol cars dropping by 3.7% and diesel by 2.5%.


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