Best-selling cars of 2021

We reveal Britain’s best-selling cars for 2021 so far

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have revealed the squeeze on car sales continues. Although June 2021 sales were up 28 per cent against June 2020 when dealers were emerging from the first lockdown, the ongoing pandemic and a global semiconductor shortage have both been referenced by the SMMT as factors affecting the latest sales numbers.

Large fleets have been the driving force behind the year-on-year increase with a 47.8 percent up-tick, while private consumer demand has improved by 30.6 per cent year-on-year. Fully electric vehicles accounted for almost 11 percent of registrations in June, with the Tesla Model 3 topping the sales charts for the month.

However there's still a long way to go before sales recover to the levels pre-Covid. To help counter the lockdown effect, a growing number of companies have been offering online car buying solutions, from click and collect to home delivery, that can get you a new vehicle in socially distanced safety

As far as individual model results go, the Vauxhall Corsa is leading the way so far in 2021 with a total of 24,399 units sold, but the relatively low figure only indicates the struggles the industry faces as we emerge from the pandemic.

The usually dominant Ford Fiesta has had a poor start to the year by its own high standards, although it remains second overall. Meanwhile Volkswagen will be celebrating the achievement of its Golf hatchback, selling enough units in June to pinch third overall from the Mercedes A-Class in the year-to-date table.

The UK's best selling cars for 2021 so far

1. Vauxhall Corsa - 24,399

The UK’s second best-selling car of 2020 is going one better so far in 2021. A new generation of Corsa has certainly helped it put pressure on the Ford Fiesta (along with the all-electric Corsa-e model), but there’s still a long way to go before it can claim the overall title for 2021. Indeed the Corsa only came fourth in June, behind the Tesla Model 3, Volkswagen Golf and Ford Puma, so the Ford Fiesta which came fifth last month is still hot on its heels.

2. Ford Fiesta - 21,511

The Ford Fiesta may be struggling to find its form in 2021, but while it’s still lagging behind its key rival the Vauxhall Corsa, there was a stronger performance from the blue oval-badged supermini in June. It was the fifth biggest seller across the month, which is still one place behind the Corsa, but an improvement on the lowly seventh place achieved in May’s figures.

3. Volkswagen Golf - 19,608

The Volkswagen Golf came a respectable third in 2020 so achieving a similar result in 2021 seems a reasonable goal for the German giant - and so far it’s on form to do just that. However, while the Golf topped May’s sales chart, it slipped back to second place in June. The arrival of VW's own ID.3 could spell bad news for the Golf as the similarly sized all-electric hatchback could eat into its sales.

4. Mercedes A-Class - 19,498

The A-Class was Britain’s best-selling premium car in 2020. Despite being the smallest and cheapest car in Mercedes’ range, buyers were clearly not put off as the hatchback surged to fifth place. A second-placed finish for April and a fourth place for May suggested the A-Class was cementing its place near the top of the best-selling cars table this year, but the model disappeared from the top 10 in June, meaning it has slipped to fourth overall in the  year-to-date total.

5. Ford Puma - 18,232

Ford's controversial decision to name its new small SUV after a 90's coupe doesn't seem to have damaged its sales success. The Ford Puma featured on last year's top 10 despite not being on sale for the full year and its popularity seems assured now with more units being sold so far in 2021 than even the Ford Focus. It was also the best-selling SUV of June by some margin with 4,447 units reaching customers.

6. Nissan Qashqai - 16,482

Despite not having an all-electric option like some of its rivals, the Nissan Qashqai remains a strong contender in the best-selling cars list. It had an April, May and June to forget however, as buyers understandably held off for the all-new version which has recently gone on sale. Still, with the Ford Puma and Kia Sportage bearing down, the new car has its work cut-out to retain the title of Britain’s best-selling SUV.

7. Kia Sportage - 16,310

Dipping in and out of the top 10 in 2020, the Kia Sportage is having a decent 2021 so far. It dropped out of the top ten for March but came eighth in April and sixth in May - helping the Korean family SUV regain seventh spot which it has held onto in June thanks to a tenth place for the month. A new model will to go on sale soon, so Kia will be hoping for a late surge.

8. Volkswagen Polo - 15,554

The Volkswagen Polo improves from tenth to eighth place thanks to excellent May and strong June results. The German supermini came third in May but dropped to sixth in June, which was enough to keep it ahead of the Toyota Yaris in tenth, while the Audi A3 and MINI have slipped out of the year-to-date top 10 altogether. The facelifted version due to go on sale in the autumn could push sales up even further.

9. BMW 3 Series - 15,402

The BMW 3 Series had a relatively bumper March compared to previous months, however it dropped out of the top ten in April and May, before returning at number eight in the June figures. That means the 3 Series retains ninth spot overall for now, but there’s a chance the new all-electric i4 could also eat into sales of the similarly sized 3 Series as it arrives in showrooms this summer.

10. Toyota Yaris - 15,123

The Toyota Yaris was the seventh biggest-seller in June, with the 3,546 units sold to customers keeping the Japanese supermini in the top 10 - just. The Polo, Yaris and MINI have been vying for places in the table in previous months, and the Yaris only beat the MINI by 40 units in June so things could easily have gone the other way with the MINI pushing the Yaris out of the top 10 instead of vice versa.

Looking to buy a new car in 2021? Check out our list of the best finance deals available right now...

Most Popular

Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition
Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition - front
Land Rover Defender

Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition

Just 220 examples will be built to honour past Camel Trophy Land Rovers, all of which have been reserved for the North American market
30 Jul 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover
Volkswagen Taigo R-Line - front
Volkswagen Taigo

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover

The new VW Taigo is a sportier, more aggressive looking version of the brand’s T-Cross and is aimed at lifestyle buyers
29 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021