UK's best selling cars revealed

Milton Keynes,UK 31st jan 2024. 2023 Nissan Qashqai tekna e-power hybrid electric  car travelling on an English road
The Nissan Qashqai hybrid electric car was the UK's best selling car in March and the second best selling car in the UK this year.

UK new car sales jumped by 10.4% in March in what is the 20th consecutive month of growth, with one of Nissan models claiming the best-seller title.

Some 317,786 new cars were registered last month, the best March performance since 2019, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said. However, latest total is still 30.6% below pre-pandemic levels.

The Nissan Qashqai was March’s best-seller with 8,931 registrations, and is the second best selling car in the UK this 2024 with 14,555 sales year-to-date.

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The Ford Puma was the second best selling car last month with 8,318 cars hitting the roads. However, year to date this is the UK’s number one car, with 15,054 units sold.

The Kia Sportage was third with 7,445 cars sold.

The Nissan Juke was number four on this list, with 7,346 units sold, followed by the Audi A3, with 6,010 registrations.

The Vauxhall Corsa (5,952), Mercedes-Benz A-class (5,892), Volkswagen Golf (5,631), Tesla Model Y (5,602), and the MG HS (5,460) complete the top 10 best sellers in March.

Petrol cars retained the lion’s share of the market, at 55.7%, with registrations up 9.2% year on year, as diesel volumes fell 2.7% to account for just 7.3% of demand.

Some 15.2% of new cars registered in March were pure electrics, down from 16.2% during the same month last year, the SMMT said.

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The Ford Puma is the UK’s best selling car this year.

Growth was driven by fleet investment, up 29.6% as the sector continues to recover following the constrained supply of previous years. Registrations by private buyers fell by 7.7%, with a challenging economic backdrop of low growth, weak consumer confidence and high interest rates, according to the industry body.

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Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Market growth continues, fuelled by fleets investing after two tough years of constrained supply.

“A sluggish private market and shrinking EV market share, however, show the challenge ahead.

“Manufacturers are providing compelling offers, but they can’t single-handedly fund the transition indefinitely.

“Government support for private consumers – not just business and fleets – would send a positive message and deliver a faster, fairer transition on time and on target.”

The industry body has called for incentives such as temporarily halving value added tax on battery electric vehicles (BEV) to help consumers move to zero-emission vehicles sooner.

Jamie Hamilton, automotive partner and head of electric vehicles at Deloitte, said: “Deloitte’s recent Global Automotive Consumer study shows that affordability concerns are also among the top reasons to change vehicle as consumers continue to feel cost pressures. Initial sticker price, combined with continued uncertainties over residual prices and high interest rates, are resulting in higher monthly payments that are causing customers to hesitate about switching to a BEV.

"Additionally, concerns about being able to regularly access available public charging infrastructure continues to act as a drag to adoption, particularly for those customers without off-street parking. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) are increasingly a more popular alternative for consumers in the meantime, with PHEV registrations growing 36.7% in March," he added.

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