Britain’s new car market hasn’t had a great time recently.
Since reaching a record high of 562,337 units in March 2018, new car registrations have been decreasing every month, compared to the same month before, reporting just a single month of growth in that time (April 2017: 1.1 per cent).
In the first six months of 2018, some 1.31 million new cars were registered. This marked a 6.3 per cent drop on the 1.40 million seen in the first half of 2017. As such, every model in the top ten best-selling (bar one – the VW Golf) has seen sales drop off.
But let’s not be so negative; which cars have been selling well?
In the first half of 2018 27,386 units were sold, whereas in the first half of 2018 only 19,684 were sold. For years now, the C-Class has been the compact saloon anyone would be proud to have on their driveway.
It’s elegant, comfortable, super-safe and that three-pointed star on the front grille leaves you with no doubt that it will be well refined. It’s also the biggest-selling car in the Mercedes range. Anyone who says they don’t like the C-Class is either lying or jealous.
The C-Class might be the most popular Merc overall but in the first half of 2018, the A-Class outsold it. In the first half of 2017, 22,944 units were sold but in 2018 only, 20,002 were sold.
That could be down to the launch of the new fourth-generation A-Class, a hatchback that ticks all the same boxes as the C-Class, only crams it into a more compact package.
Brits love Ford – we’ve been lapping up the Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo without question for decades. In the first half of 2018 Ford sold 21.784 Kuga’s in the UK.
We also love SUVs so slapping the famous blue oval on a hiked-up off-roader is a recipe for success – clearly, because loads have been sold so far this year.
The Polo has been around since 1975 and to be fair, it’ll probably be around as long as cars are a thing. Volkswagen sold 27,205 Polo’s in 2017, however, this year they have only managed to sell 22,027 units.
In the crowded supermini market, it’s perhaps the most sensible choice but with the eternally zingy GTI on offer, it still has a daft side.
The Mini badge has been used on everything from roadsters to bulging SUVs in recent years. In the first half of 2017 Mini sold 25,582 units, whereas, in 2018 Mini only sold 23,641 units.
But when someone says ‘Mini’, what they really mean is the Mini Hatch – and it’s more fun than ever, packing in more personalisation and fancy tech without neglecting its jovial go-kart nature.
Locked in an endless battle with the Fiesta, the Corsa will always be a reliably decent supermini that delivers on value and practicality. Vauxhall sold 33,560 Corsa’s in the first half of 2017, however, in the first half of 2018 they have only managed to sell 28,003 units.
However, just like Road Runner always gets the better of Wile E. Coyote, the Corsa should just accept that it’ll never truly overtake the Fiesta.
The original Qashqai surpassed all sales expectations, shifting ten times more than even the most optimistic projections from the brand’s execs. In the first half of 2017 Nissan had sold 33,574 units but in the first half of 2018, they have only managed to sell 30,066 units.
And the follow-up has been just as successful by simply building on everything that the first Qashqai did so right.
The Focus is the best-selling car in the world (according to Ford themselves) and we Brits are big fans too. Ford managed to sell 40,045 Focus’s in the first half of 2017, however, in the first half of 2018 they had only managed to sell 30,757 units.
Who could resist a family hatchback that handles this well and offers such interior quality and cabin space?
Just like the Corsa and Fiesta are eternal rivals, the same can be said for the Focus and the Golf. In the first half of 2017 Volkswagen sold 36,703 Golf’s but in the first half of 2018 they have managed to sell 39,930 units.
It impresses in every department and justifies why you should pay that little bit more compared to rivals, with a plush high-quality interior and an engine range that will please everyone.
The party rolls on for the Fiesta and was it ever in doubt? Ford’s supremely popular supermini is like the Despacito, the Hotline Bling, the (Everything I Do) I Do It For You of the UK car top ten in that its dominance of the top spot looks like it’ll never come to an end.
Ford managed to sell 59,380 Fiesta’s in the first half of 2017, however, in the first half of 2018 they had only managed to sell 56,415 units. And it’s justified. Just five minutes in any given Fiesta is enough to demonstrate why people love it so much. It does everything well and you simply can’t fault it.
Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below!
For more articles like this, receive our weekly e-newsletter, including partner deals and all things motoring, register your email below.