2012 (Full Year) Britain: Best-Selling Car Models in the UK

The Ford Fiesta was again the most popular car model in Great Britain in 2012. The Vauxhall Corsa outsold the Ford Focus as second best-selling car in the UK.

Ford Fiestas at the Paris Motorshow
The Ford Fiesta was again Britain’s favorite car model in 2012. Photo: Ford Wieck

In 2012, for the fourth year in a row, the Ford Fiesta was again the top-selling car model in Great Britain. The Vauxhall Corsa was the second most popular car in Britain followed by the Ford Focus. German cars again sold well in Britain in 2012.

Top-Ten List of Best-Selling Cars in the UK in 2012

According to new passenger vehicle registration data released by the SMMT, the top ten most popular car models in Great Britain in 2012 were:

      1. Ford Fiesta – 109,265
      2. Vauxhall Corsa – 89,434
      3. Ford Focus – 83,115
      4. Vauxhall Astra – 63,023
      5. Volkswagen Golf – 62,021
      6. Nissan Qashqai – 45,675
      7. BMW 3 Series – 44,521
      8. Volkswagen Polo – 41,901
      9. Mercedes C Class – 37,261
      10. BMW 1 Series – 34,488

Changes in the Top-Ten List of Best-Selling Cars in Britain in 2012

There were more changes than usual in the composition of the list of the top ten most popular car models in Britain in 2012. However, at the top of the list, the Ford Fiesta remained Britain’s favorite car as it has been since 2009. Ford sold almost a thousand more Fiestas per month in the UK in 2012 than in 2011.

A similar performance by Vauxhall saw the Corsa as the second most popular car in the UK in 2012. The Ford Focus slipped to third place by selling only hundred cars more per month.

The Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf swapped positions. Fourth place in 2011 was the highest position ever in the UK for the Golf. In 2011, Volkswagen sold less than 800 more Golfs than Vauxhall sold Astras and in 2012 the positions were reversed with just over a thousand more Astras sold than Golfs. Volkswagen will hope to regain form in 2013 with the launch of the Golf VII.

The Nissan Qashqai improved from ninth last year to sixth most popular car model in Britain in 2012. Last year’s number six, the Vauxhall Insignia, dropped off the list.

The rest of the top ten most popular cars in Britain in 2012 were all German cars. The BMW 3 Series improved another place from last year while the aging VW Polo slipped another place down the list.

The Mercedes-Benz C Class entered the top-ten list of best-selling car models in Britain for the first time at ninth. The Mini dropped out of the list from last year to be replaced by the BMW 1 Series, which made its first appearance on the list of top-ten most popular cars in Britain.

Top-selling carmaker in Britain in 2012 was again Ford, followed by a weakened Vauxhall and Volkswagen.

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience in online writing. His best-selling cars website has been reporting car sales statistics since 2008 with classic car auction prices focusing on the most expensive automobiles sold at public auctions in the past decade. He also owns the travel websites European-Traveler.com and Lake Geneva Switzerland. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.