Best-selling cars 2015: record year for UK car sales

A closer look at the UK's best-selling new cars in 2015 when a record 2.6m new cars were sold.

Ford Fiesta ST - front cornering

2015 was the best ever year for the UK automotive industry, with over 2.6million new cars registered over the 12 months – the highest number on record. Below you'll find full details on the UK's top 10 best-selling cars over the course of the year.

December registrations continued the trend that had run throughout 2015 and were up 8.4 per cent on the previous year, with over 180,000 new cars registered. The figures round off 2015 as the fourth consecutive year of growing registrations – up 6.3 per cent on 2014. 

Most economical cars

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) let us see exactly how many cars were registered each month, and which models are selling particularly well. We've used them to put together this list with the full registration figures for the top 10 models for this year-to-date.

Only in October 2015 did we see a fall in new car registrations, a likely consequence of the VW emissions scandal but as November and December figures show, the market recovered strongly.

Best new car deals 2015

You'll notice a lot of similarities in the top selling models in the UK: most new cars sold aren't sports cars, large SUVs or luxury saloons. Those models are produced in much smaller numbers than the compact family hatchbacks, superminis and crossovers that make up the bulk of car sales in Britain these days.

Scroll down this page to see the top 10 best-selling cars of 2015 so far, with full sales figures and some details on each model.

The top 10 best-selling cars in 2015

The Ford Fiesta has been topping the UK sales charts for a long time now - and it's easy to see why. Whether you go for the entry-level model or the hot Fiesta ST model, it's great fun to drive. It's good value too, and is a practical and handsome supermini that will appeal to all sorts of buyers.

The new Vauxhall Corsa has started its life with very strong sales, thanks to low prices and a well-judged revamp. Despite looking similar to the old model, it's better to drive and cheaper to run - buyers are clearly taking notice of the latest Vauxhall supermini.

With its fun handling, practical body style, efficient engines and revised looks, the new Ford Focus is a strong seller in the UK. It's been a top model for Ford for many years and the new version looks set to continue that trend.

Volkswagen Golf hatchback 2013 front static

The Volkswagen Golf needs no introduction, really - it's been around since the 1970s and the latest version is the best yet. It has an upmarket cabin and is comfortable on long journeys, with a huge range of petrol and diesel engines to choose from. It also has one of the most recognisable car names in the UK, which can't hurt sales. What could, however, is the emissions scandal surrounding VW.

The Nissan Qashqai is considered by many to be the first modern 'crossover', with SUV styling and hatchback running costs. It's a great car for those needing a practical family runabout. The latest model launched in 2013, and it's having a great year so far in 2015, making it into the top 10 best-selling cars this year-to-date.

VW's Polo supermini is a more grown-up car than its main rival, the Ford Fiesta, offering better ride quality and refinement. It's good on any type of journey and features a wide range of efficient engines, too.

Vauxhall's Ford Focus rival, the Astra, has been around for a while now - but that's not hurting sales. It's a handsome family hatchback, and with the low prices being offered by Vauxhall dealers the Astra has managed to make it into the top 10 best-selling cars 2015.

  •  

    8. Audi A347,653 registrations in 2015

Audi A3 Sportback front tracking

It might use many of the same parts as the VW Golf, being built on the same platform, but the Audi A3 features a few more upmarket options that bring the price up a bit. It’s a tactic that’s clearly working - buyers are flocking to the upmarket Audi and sending into the top 10 best-sellers.

  •  

    9. MINI - 47,076 registrations in 2015

The MINI has clearly been a sales hit since it hit the roads last year. It's now jumped into the top 10 and knocked the equally retro Fiat 500 out. It's easy to see why it's been so popular, too, with good looks, a great drive and an upmarket interior to match the badge.

Vauxhall Mokka whisper diesel action

The Vauxhall Mokka has been a strong seller since its release in 2012, and it's finally made its way onto this list, knocking out the premium Mercedes C-Class. It's the second crossover in this list, and competes thanks to a great new 'Whisper' diesel engine and a spacious interior.

Have you ever owned one of the UK's best-selling cars? Give us your view of it in the comments section below. Or take our Driver Power customer satisfaction survey.

Most Popular

New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle
Volkswagen T7 Multivan - front
Volkswagen Caravelle

New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle

The Volkswagen T7 Multivan MPV switches to the MQB platform and adds plug-in hybrid technology
10 Jun 2021
LEC launches affordable EV conversion for classic Mini
LEC MINI Electric
MINI

LEC launches affordable EV conversion for classic Mini

The conversion sees the Mini’s A-Series engine replaced with a dinky electric motor and a 20kWh battery for a range of 70 miles in the city
10 Jun 2021
New Toyota Land Cruiser 300 revealed with six-cylinder petrol and diesel power
Toyota Land Cruiser - front
Toyota Land Cruiser

New Toyota Land Cruiser 300 revealed with six-cylinder petrol and diesel power

Six-cylinder engine line-up and clever new suspension tech for the new large Toyota Land Cruiser, but it’s not destined for the UK
9 Jun 2021
New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time
Vauxhall Astra teaser 1
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time

The new Vauxhall Astra will get electrified powertrains and a more premium image
8 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021
New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp
Tesla Model S facelift - front
Tesla Model S

New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp

Range-topping version of the Tesla Model S officially unveiled, with a sprint time of 0-60mph in less than two seconds
10 Jun 2021
‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'
Gearknob
Opinion

‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'

Want to drive a manual car? You need to take your test in a manual car. So what happens once all driving-school cars are automatic EVs?
8 Jun 2021
New Genesis G80 2021 review
Genesis G80
Genesis G80

New Genesis G80 2021 review

Is the new Genesis G80 a worthy competitor in the executive saloon segment?
9 Jun 2021
New Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet 2021 review
Mercedes E 300 Cabriolet - front
Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

New Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet 2021 review

The soft-top Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet gets the same updates as the saloon and estate variants
10 Jun 2021
'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'
Car manufacturing
Opinion

'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'

Steve Fowler points out the fresh issues facing global car manufacturing
9 Jun 2021
New 2021 BMW X4 facelift arrives with new look inside and out
BMW X4 - front tracking
BMW X4

New 2021 BMW X4 facelift arrives with new look inside and out

The updated BMW X4 line-up gets a new look and now comes with hot petrol and diesel options
8 Jun 2021
New 2021 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe breaks cover
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe - front
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

New 2021 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe breaks cover

The new second-generation BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe adds four-door coupe style to the 4 Series range
8 Jun 2021
Audi updates line-up for 2022 with new tech and trim features
Audi S5
Audi

Audi updates line-up for 2022 with new tech and trim features

Almost every car in Audi’s line-up has received a tweak, with major updates including Amazon Alexa integration and a Sonos stereo
11 Jun 2021
New Vauxhall Grandland SUV unveiled with fresh design and tech boost
Vauxhall Grandland - front action
Vauxhall Grandland X

New Vauxhall Grandland SUV unveiled with fresh design and tech boost

The heavily facelifted Vauxhall Grandland family SUV gets Visor design cues and plug-in hybrid power
8 Jun 2021