In 2021, the Vauxhall Corsa was the top-selling car model in the UK while the Tesla Model 3 was second and the Ford Fiesta dropped out of the top ten list of most popular car models in Britain.
In full calendar year 2021, the Vauxhall Corsa was the top-selling car model in the UK while the Ford Fiesta not only lost its traditional position as Britain’s best-selling car model but dropped out of the top-ten list altogether. The Tesla Model 3 was the second most popular car model in Britain and the top-selling electric car in the UK in 2021. Many manufacturers struggled in 2021 with supply-chain issues leading to a complete shakeup of the top ten list. Volkswagen was the best-selling car brand in the British new car market in 2021 that expanded by a modest 1%.
List of the Top 10 Best-Selling Car Models in Britain in 2021
The ten best-selling car models in the UK in full calendar year 2021 according to the SMMT were as follows:
|Brand & Model
|Cars Sold 2021
|Cars Sold 2020
|Cars Sold 2019
|Cars Sold 2018
|Tesla Model 3
Ten Top-Selling Car Models in the UK in 2021
The relatively low car sales in Britain in 2021 combined with severe supply problems experienced by many manufacturers including Ford and Volkswagen, led to a complete shakeup of the top ten list of the most popular car models in Britain. Not a single car was in the same rank position as in 2020.
For the first time since 2009, the Ford Fiesta was not Britain’s best-selling car model in a full calendar year. In 2021, the Fiesta dropped off the top ten list altogether with sales of around 27,300 units. In 2015, Ford sold 133,434 Fiestas in Britain.
The Vauxhall Corsa finally became the most popular car model in Britain in 2021. The Corsa was helped by being available as an electric car too, although even without the 5,605 Corsa-e sales, it would have been the best-selling car model in the UK.
The Tesla Model 3 took a sensational second place overall and was easily the most popular electric car in Britain in 2021. As in December 2020, the Model 3 was the top-selling car model in the UK in December 2021. More than a quarter of all Model 3 registrations in Britain was in the final month of the year.
The Mini improved from seventh to third — its best sales position ever since the brand was acquired by BMW. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class improved one position to fourth — its best position after five years in the British top ten.
For the first time in well over a decade, Volkswagen sold more Polos in the UK than Golfs. The VW Polo improved three sales positions to fifth while the VW Golf dropped from third to sixth. The Golf was severely affected by component shortages and even briefly lost its top position in Germany while the factory in Wolfsburg was on enforced shut down.
The Nissan Qashqai remained the most popular SUV in Britain despite dropping one sales position in 2021. It was followed by two other SUVs: the Ford Puma and the Kia Sportage. The Ford Puma was the only Ford car in the top ten in Britain in 2021.
The Toyota Yaris entered the top ten list for the first time ever at tenth.
The two models dropping out of the top ten list in Britain in 2021 were both amongst the previously most reliable models on the list: the Ford Fiesta from first and the Ford Focus from fourth.