Tesla Model 3 tops UK new car registrations for April

There were 658 Tesla Model 3s registered in April – making it more popular than the Jaguar I-Pace and Vauxhall Corsa combined

The Tesla Model 3 has topped the UK new car registrations charts for the month of April, but in a month that has seen the number of new cars hitting UK roads decline to their lowest level since 1946.

Tesla registered 658 Model 3s last month, placing it ahead of the Jaguar I-Pace and ever-popular Vauxhall Corsa, in a UK new car market down 97 per cent compared with April 2019. 

To put the Model 3’s April leading numbers into context, March’s most popular new model - the Ford Fiesta - led the previous set of figures with 6,687 registrations at the end of the month. 

In 2nd place, Jaguar registered 367 I-Paces, meaning the top two spots in the UK were both occupied by luxury electric vehicles. While Vauxhall put 264 Corsas on the road.

Tesla’s success in what has been the hardest month for the UK car market since the post-war era can be partly attributed to its contactless delivery system. Tesla has delivered a large number of its vehicles directly to customers for some years now – but with its retailers shutting on 24 March, following government guidelines, the company switched to contactless handovers at the customer’s homes or at its delivery centres, while many other manufacturers have had to suspend UK operations. 

All the paperwork for the purchase of the vehicle is pre-organised via the customer’s Tesla Account online – and on the day of delivery, the vehicle is left in a safe location with access arranged via the Tesla smartphone. 

Even when Tesla retail outlets were open, all transactions were processed online. Tesla has also been operating contactless servicing during the crisis, while in China, Tesla has been trialling contactless test drives, which could also roll out in the UK.

Case study: does buying online work for customers?

While other car makers were struggling to deliver cars during lockdown in April, Tesla continued with its contactless handovers. Auto Express reader and new Model 3 owner Denis Chick contacted Auto Express to say, “It was the most seamless, no drama purchase I've ever made. From order to virtual delivery in 6 weeks. I didn't think I would see the car for months.

“Everything was done online and an email included a confirmation of delivery document for my signature on the day. This was followed up by a phone call asking if I had any queries about the handover and wishing me a happy future in my Model 3, from an employee calling from home, in Amsterdam!

Denis’ transaction also included a part-exchange, which was also dealt with via his online Tesla account. “It was totally painless, friendly, professional and quick – it’s definitely the future!” he said.

What are the best electric cars on sale right now? Click here for our list of the top 10...

Recommended

New 2022 Tesla Model Y: prices start from £54,990 in the UK
Tesla Model Y
Tesla Model Y

New 2022 Tesla Model Y: prices start from £54,990 in the UK

Just two versions of the Tesla Model Y SUV will be offered – a Long Range model with a 315-mile range and a Performance version with a 298-mile range
15 Oct 2021
New Mercedes EQE SUV spied ahead of 2022 launch
Mercedes EQE SUV - front
Mercedes

New Mercedes EQE SUV spied ahead of 2022 launch

Mercedes will launch its electric EQE SUV next year, and our spies have spotted the BMW iX rival testing in pre-production form
12 Oct 2021
Updated MG 5 EV launched for 2022 with 249-mile range
MG 5 EV - front
MG MG5

Updated MG 5 EV launched for 2022 with 249-mile range

MG has unveiled a restyled version of its electric estate for Europe – but there’s no word yet on when it’ll reach the UK
12 Oct 2021
Citroen C4 and electric e-C4 receive updates for 2022
Citroen e-C4 - front
Citroen C4

Citroen C4 and electric e-C4 receive updates for 2022

Citroen brings spec revisions and design changes to its C4 hatchback, and improved ‘real world’ range for the e-C4 Electric
8 Oct 2021

Most Popular

Friends reunited: buying back a Porsche 911
Porsche 911
Porsche 911 Coupe

Friends reunited: buying back a Porsche 911

How perfect timing led a Porsche 911 fanatic to buy back his old car
14 Oct 2021
New Ford Focus unveiled with 2021 facelift and tech updates
Ford Focus ST Line - front
Ford Focus Hatchback

New Ford Focus unveiled with 2021 facelift and tech updates

Ford has given the Focus hatchback a refresh for 2021, with a new design and an improved infotainment suite
14 Oct 2021
Nissan launches combined PCP finance deal for electric car and charger
Nissan Leaf
Nissan

Nissan launches combined PCP finance deal for electric car and charger

The unusual new offer is available on the Nissan Leaf and e-NV200 van – and it includes the cost of installing the wallbox charger at your home
13 Oct 2021