2018 (Full Year) Britain: Best Selling Car Models

In 2018, the Ford Fiesta was again Britain’s favorite car model while the Volkswagen Golf was the second best seller for the second consecutive year.

Blue Ford Fiesta Geneva

The Ford Fiesta celebrated a decade as Britain’s favorite car in 2018 with slightly higher sales than a year ago. The Volkswagen Golf was again second best-selling car model in the UK while the Vauxhall Corsa regained third place. The Nissan Qashqai was again Britain’s favorite SUV. The Ford Kuga and Kia Sportage entered the top ten list while the Vauxhall Astra failed to be among the top ten favorite car models of the British in 2018.

The British New Car Market in 2018 (Full Year)

New passenger vehicle registrations in the UK fell by 6.8% in 2018 to 2,367,147 cars – the second consecutive year of lower car sales in Britain.

See 2018 (Full Year) Britain: Best-Selling Car Brands for more details on the British new car market.

List of the Top-10 Best-Selling Cars in Britain in 2018 (Full Year)

The ten most-popular car models in the UK in 2018 according to new passenger vehicle registration data released by the SMMT were:

Brand & ModelCars Sold 2018Cars Sold 2017Cars Sold 2016Cars Sold 2015
1Ford Fiesta95,89294,533120,525133,434
2Volkswagen Golf64,82974,60569,49273,409
3Vauxhall Corsa52,91552,77277,11092,077
4Nissan Qashqai50,54664,21662,68260,814
5Ford Focus50,49269,90370,54583,816
6Volkswagen Polo45,14947,85554,44854,900
8Mercedes-Benz A Class43,52743,717NANA
9Ford Kuga40,398NANANA
10Kia Sportage35,567NANANA
Source: SMMT

Ten Best-Selling Car Models in the UK in 2018

In 2018, only two new car models – both SUVs – entered the list of the ten most-popular car models in Britain. Only two of the top eight cars sold higher numbers than a year ago – not only due to the lower sales volume in general but also as a result of a diversification of the British new car market and the high availability of competing marques and models in all price classes. Around 350 different car models are on sale in Britain.

In 2018, the Ford Fiesta easily maintained its traditional position as the top-selling car model in the UK. The Ford Fiesta has been Britain’s favorite car since 2009. Although units sales increased slightly, the number of Fiestas sold in the UK have been at historic lows for the past two years.

The Volkswagen Golf was again the second best-selling car model in Britain in 2018, a position it gained for the first time ever in 2017. However, Golf sales in the UK were down by around 10,000 cars compared to a year ago. A model update for the Golf is expected towards the end of 2019 when the VW Golf 8 should launch.

Somewhat surprisingly, the Vauxhall Corsa regained third place in the UK in 2018 – up from fifth a year ago. Vauxhall managed to sell slightly more Corsas in Britain in 2018, although numbers are still well below sales achieved a few years ago. The Corsa is due for replacement in 2019 with a new model based on the new Peugeot 208.

In 2018, the Nissan Qashqai was again the best-selling SUV in Britain although sales were sharply down. the Qashqai maintained its fourth place for the second consecutive year.

After three years as the third most-popular car model in Britain, the Ford Focus slipped to fifth in 2018. Sales of the Ford Focus was uncharacteristically low in 2018 in Britain but the Focus should benefit from a recent model update. In 2005, Ford Focus sales were as high as 145,000 in the UK and in 2008 it was the top-selling car in Britain.

The VW Polo moved up one position to sixth – a position it also held in 2015 – and the Mini moved up one position to seventh. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class moved into eighth from tenth a year ago.

Two new SUVs entered the top-ten list of top-selling car models in Britain for the first time in 2018. The Ford Kuga and Kia Sportage joined the Nissan Qashqai to place three SUVs among Britain’s favorite car models.

The two car models dropping out of the top-ten list from 2017 were the Vauxhall Astra (from 6th) and the Mercedes-Benz C Class. (from 9th). The Astra was the second most-popular car in Britain in 2007 and among the top ten for decades.

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.