Best-selling cars of 2021

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

The latest car registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have revealed the top 10 best-selling cars in the UK right now.

The new figures highlight the continued struggle that the UK new car market is facing as the pandemic and  global semiconductor shortage have taken their toll. However, with 115,706 new cars registered, November 2021 was 1.7 per cent up compared to last year.

The general trend has been that 2021 is performing better than 2020 in terms of car sales as the UK has returned to some level normality, although the SMMT is keen to emphasise that the industry is still facing unprecedented issues.

UK new car sales are up 2.7 per cent for the year-to-date. The final quarter of 2021 has been difficult for the industry but the switch to electric vehicles still seems to be in full swing with an 88.9 per cent increase in new EV sales from 2020.

There's still a long way to go before sales recover to the levels seen pre-Covid. To help counter the 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 on the best selling cars list go, the Vauxhall Corsa is leading the way so far in 2021 with a total of 38.306 units sold, but this relatively low figure only indicates the struggles the industry faces as we emerge from the pandemic.

The usually dominant Ford Fiesta has had a very poor year by its own high standards, dropping to eighth overall. Meanwhile, Volkswagen will be celebrating the achievement of its Polo and Golf, taking third and fourth respectively. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the Mercedes A-Class, the premium hatchback has stormed into second spot overall. 

The UK's best-selling cars for 2021 so far

1. Vauxhall Corsa - 38,306

The runner-up in the best-selling cars of 2020 table has taken a commanding lead in 2021. A new generation of Corsa certainly helped it conquer the Ford Fiesta (along with the all-electric Corsa-e model), and with just one month to go its almost certain it'll take the title of Britain's best-selling car of 2021. 

2. Mercedes A-Class - 29,510

The A-Class was Britain’s best-selling premium car in 2020. Despite it being the smallest and cheapest car in Mercedes’ range, buyers were clearly not put off as the hatchback surged to fifth place. Overtaking the Fiesta and Puma in October and then the Polo and Golf in November, the A-Class is flying high in the 2021 overall standings, despite only placing eighth for the past two months. 

3. Volkswagen Polo - 29,478

The Volkswagen Polo has steadily risen through the rankings this year, but in October it jumped from sixth to third. The German supermini didn't place in the top 10 for November so Volkswagen will be hoping things will get better with the facelifted version now on sale. 

4. Volkswagen Golf - 28,666

The Volkswagen Golf came a respectable third in 2020, so sitting in fourth place in 2021 will feel a little disappointing for the German giant. VW's own ID.3 could spell bad news for the Golf in future as the similarly sized all-electric hatchback could eat into its sales. 

5. Nissan Qashqai - 27,800

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 a July and August to forget with it dropping out of the top 10 for both of those months. A seventh-placed finish in November has helped it climb the rankings with it looking likely to reclaim the title of Britain's best-selling SUV. 

6. Kia Sportage - 27,297

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 10 for March but has come back strong. A new model is now on sale, so Kia will be hoping for a late surge to overtake the Nissan Qashqai.

7. MINI - 27,167

The MINI placed first for November which has thrust it into the top ten. Seventh place means the MINI is currently the third-best selling supermini of the year and it's sales have surely been helped by the all-electric MINI Electric model. 

8. Ford Fiesta - 27,000

The Ford Fiesta ihas struggled to find its form in 2021; its battle with the Vauxhall Corsa looks to be over and now it's lost four more places in November. Last year's most popular car was the eighth biggest seller across August and it didn't even feature in September, October or November's top 10. A facelifted Fiesta may help bump up sales towards the end of the year, but it could be too little too late. 

9. Ford Puma - 26,870

Ford's controversial decision to name its new small SUV after a Nineties coupe doesn't seem to have damaged its sales levels. The Puma has a revelation for Ford - featuring on last year's top 10 despite not being on sale for the full year and it looks to do the same in 2021. It may even steal a spot from the Fiesta by the end of the year. 

10. BMW 3 Series - 26,115

The BMW 3 Series dropped a couple of places in the past few months, but this is still a good year for the compact executive. Placing way ahead of the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class will keep Munich happy. 

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

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