Best-selling cars in Britain 2019

The Ford Fiesta may have struggled by it's own high standards, but it remains the UK's best selling car

BuyaCar team
Sep 5, 2019

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

Once again, the supremacy of the Ford Fiesta continues. Although it saw a respective drop of almost 2,700 sales from July, the Fiesta was still able to maintain its lead over the next best-seller, which in August was the Volkswagen Golf.

Hatchbacks dominated the sales this month, but the Ford Kuga claimed its position as the best-selling SUV, leading the Volkswagen pair of the T-Roc and Tiguan.

Overall, the UK new car market was down 3.4% in August compared to the same time last year, in what is historically a very slow month for car sales. Diesel cars saw a year-on-year drop in registrations of 12.2% while Petrol sales were up by a modest 1.0%.

Plug-in hybrid sales fell massively even by their recent standards, dropping by 71.8% on last year, but outright EVs continue to see a steady rise, with 3,147 fully electric vehicles registered in August.

In total, 93,573 new cars were registered in August 2019, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) - a number which was also down on the previous year by 1.6%.

Volkswagen managed to leapfrog rivals Ford to take top spot in terms of overall market share. Both brands made gains, with VW rising to 12.2% while Ford accounts for 11.6%.

Dacia and Volvo each made big gains too, with year-on-year sales increases of 33% and 22% respectively.

Audi proved to be one of the more successful manufacturers this month, registering 9,062 cars in August - an increase of 1,481 year-on-year.


Best-selling cars 2019

Best-selling cars in August 2019

Best-selling cars: the winners

DS saw the biggest increases in overall sales in August - recording 187 sales - an increase of 112.5% compared with this time last year.

Alfa Romeo, Audi, Dacia, Jeep, Lexus, MG, Ssangyong, Toyota and Volvo all saw demand rise by at least 10 per cent compared with August 2018. 

Best-selling cars: the fallers

Suzuki hold the unfortunate title of biggest sales fall in August, with year-on-year sales down a massive 51.8%.

A shorter list manufacturers facing losses of over 10% includes Abarth, Bentley, BMWFiat, Honda, Jaguar, Land RoverRenault, Smart, and Subaru.

Best-selling cars by fuel

New diesel car sales continue to fall, with only 24,484 diesels sold in August representing a year-on-year drop of 12.2%.

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 26.4%. 

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. EVs are becoming a more and more viable opiton for a growing percentage of drivers, and although total sales reached only 3,147, that's a huge growth of 377.5% on last year.

Hybrids have also gained for the most part, although the plug-in variants have seen a significant drop of over 70% year-on-year, mild hybrids and start HEVs have each seen substantial gains.

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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