UK’s best selling cars of 2021

Which car will take the crown this year? Data from the SMMT reveals all!

2021 was another rollercoaster of a year for many in the UK but how did this year affect our new car buying habits? The SMMT has released its data on the best-selling cars of 2021! The UK’s new car market struggled once again when compared to pre-pandemic life. However, 1% more new cars were registered when compared to 2020!

The 2021 data also saw the UK’s most loved new car, the Ford fiesta, knocked off the top spot for the first time in 12 years! The Vauxhall Corsa overtook the Fiesta in 2021 with registrations of 40,919. Surprisingly, the Fiesta didn’t even make the top 10 this year due to production cuts from supply chain issues.

Let’s take a look at the full list:

1.   Vauxhall Corsa

Registrations: 40,919

Vauxhall Corsa

The Vauxhall Corsa was runner-up in 2020 and now it has taken the top spot in 2021. The best-selling new car of the year had a handsome new look in 2020 and it’s been even more popular with buyers in 2021. The Corsa has a range of powertrain options and also an all-electric variant. The refresh seems to have done the trick this year, with more than 6,00 units being sold compared to the second-place runner up below. 

2. Tesla Model 3

Registrations: 40,914

Tesla Model 3

Another thing to celebrate in 2021 was the rise of Tesla. This is the first year a Tesla has placed in the best-selling cars list and it’s the only all-electric model that placed this year. Even more surprising is that the Tesla Model 3 wasn’t even placed in the top 10 list at the end of November 2021. December had seen a whopping 9,612 units sold in one month, bringing Tesla into the runner-up spot. The Tesla Model 3 offers great benefits for both personal and business users and also boasts a range of advanced technology. 

3.   MINI

Registrations: 31,792

Mini

In November 2021, the MINI was actually in 1st place. However, December only sold 4,625 and it dropped to 3rd place. The MINI has been listed in the top 10 best-selling cars of the year for a number of years now and 2021 was a great year for the manufacturer. MINI’s success in 2021 was helped by the popularity of MINI Electric, which also finished 7th in the best-selling electric cars list. The MINI has always been a popular choice due to its retro styling combined with a modern, premium feel. There will also be a new MINI arriving in 2023. 

4.   Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Registrations: 30,710

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class only just missed out on the 3rd place spot. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is one of the more luxury cars on the best-selling list. The plug-in hybrid model was also the second most popular PHEV in 2021. The Mercedes A-Class can suit a wide range of different drivers with impressive petrol, diesel, and hybrid options with an array of specifications and trim levels. Mercedes has also pledged that by 2025, up to 25% of the Mercedes range will be all-electric. 

5.   Volkswagen Polo

Registrations: 30,634

Volskwagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo continued to rise throughout the year and a new, refreshed look was also debuted. The latest model is the most impressive and sophisticated version of the well-loved supermini. The Volkswagen polo is also the third best-selling supermini in the UK! We would expect the popularity of the Polo to continue well into 2022. 

6.   Volkswagen Golf

Registrations: 30,240

Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf only just missed out on 5th place but we’re sure Volkswagen won’t be too offended to be overtaken by one of its own. There was a brand-new model released in 2020 which could contribute to its success. There are a number of variants such as the Golf 8, GTI, and the Golf R which all come with an impressive range of trim levels and engine choices. 

7.   Nissan Qashqai

Registrations: 29,920

Nissan Qashqai

The Nissan Qashqai is one of the best SUVs on the market and always tops the best-selling charts for large family-friendly cars. The new model Qashqai is now on the roads and has a more upmarket interior, fresh design, clever technology, and even a hybrid variant. We expect the new ‘e-power’ hybrid will help the Qashqai climb the ranks in 2022. 

8.   Ford Puma

Registrations: 28,697

Ford Puma

It was very surprising that the much-loved Ford Fiesta didn’t make the best-selling cars list in 2021 and a little more surprising that the Ford Puma did! The Ford Puma had a strong year though and proven a big hit with car buyers. It’s a small SUV which is great to drive, very practical and impressively equipped! If you’re looking for something a little sportier, there is also an ST version available too.

9.    Kia Sportage

Registrations: 27,611

Kia Sportage

The Kia Sportage has long been a well-loved family-friendly SUV. It’s competitively priced and benefits from Kia’s massive 7-year warranty! The Sportage has a range of powertrains available and is also expecting a new version for 2022 could indicate the push in sales at the end of 2021. The cheapest Sportage model comes with sat nav and reverse camera means that you get more equipment than you first bargained for. Overall, it’s a well-equipped, stylish, and high specification SUV that’s popular amongst UK buyers. Learn more about getting the Kia Sportage on finance.

10.   Toyota Yaris

Registrations: 27,415

Toyota Yaris

The Toyota Yaris was in and out of the ranks in 2021 but finished in 10th place overall. The Toyota Yaris now only has one engine choice which is a hybrid version. It’s one of the best hatchbacks that can be great for first-time drivers or student car finance. It had an impressive and radical styling refresh that gives it a more sporty look and feel. The Toyota GR Yaris has also been named What Car’s Car of the Year 2021 in its Hot Hatch category!

Best selling cars comparison:

2020:

  1. Ford Fiesta (Registrations: 49,174)
  2. Vauxhall Corsa (Registrations: 46,439)
  3. Volkswagen Golf (Registrations: 43,109)
  4. Ford Focus (Registrations: 39,372)
  5. Mercedes-Benz A-Class (Registrations: 37,608)
  6. Nissan Qashqai (Registrations:33,972)
  7. Mini Hatch (Registrations: 31,233)
  8. Volkswagen Polo (Registrations: 26,965)
  9. Ford Puma (Registrations: 26,294)
  10. Volvo XC40 (Registrations: 25,023)

2021:

  1. Vauxhall Corsa (Registrations: 40,914)
  2. Tesla Model 3 (Registrations: 34,783)
  3. MINI (Registrations: 31,792)
  4. Mercedes-Benz A-Class (Registrations: 30,710)
  5. Volkswagen Polo (Registrations: 30,634)
  6. Volkswagen Golf (Registrations: 30,240)
  7. Nissan Qashqai (Registrations: 29,922)
  8. Ford Puma (Registrations: 28,697)
  9. Kia Sportage (Registrations: 27,611)
  10. Toyota Yaris (Registrations: 27,451)

Like what you see?

Do any of the best-selling cars 2021 take your fancy?

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