You might not want to follow the crowd in everything you do but, sometimes, so many people buying the same thing can’t be wrong. This is often true of cars – best-selling models often earn their place in the sales charts thanks to their inherent quality.
After a lull thanks to the global recession, the UK’s new-car market has recovered strongly. Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) say that, as of the end of October, a total of 2,274,550 new cars were registered in the UK in 2015 – a 6.4 per cent increase on 2014, and the highest since 2008.
Here are the top 10 biggest sellers. Put any of them in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save.
1. Ford Fiesta (116,631 sold)
The Ford Fiesta is the biggest selling car in the UK, and by quite some margin, too. It’s fun to drive, great value for money, and cheap to run. The beauty of the Fiesta is that, if you’re simply looking for a method of pottering from A to B and back, then you really don’t need much else.
If you’re the type of person, however, who enjoys taking a detour just for the drive, it offers genuine driving enjoyment. Even in the most basic models have a sense of being both dynamic like a sports car and comfortable like a larger saloon.
Join the thousands of happy owners and save money by using our Ford Fiesta configurator.
2. Vauxhall Corsa (77,896 sold)
From behind the wheel, the latest Vauxhall Corsa feels different like a big step up over the previous model. Not just in the way it drives – it’s even optionally available with a heated steering wheel, which will prove popular with buyers.
Beyond that, the driving experience is better than ever – it feels sharper on the road, the engine lineup is among the best in the class, and it’s maintained the old model’s smooth ride and quiet cabin. As a result, it’ll come as no surprise that the Corsa is the second best selling car in the UK – shifting nearly 79,000 by the end of October.
Find out how little ownership can cost using our Vauxhall Corsa configurator.
3. Ford Focus (73,966 sold)
The Ford Focus consistently features at the top of the UK sales charts. From behind the Focus’ wheel, it isn’t hard to see why. Driving enthusiasts can pick the Focus ST – one of the country’s most popular hot hatches. Not enough? The more extreme RS showcases truly pant-wetting performance – powered by a 2.3-litre turbocharged unit transmitting power through all-four wheels, it boasts wild styling to match the crazy performance.
At the other end of the scale, entry level models are fun to drive, while the low CO2 emissions of the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol and 1.5-litre diesel make the Focus a cheap car to run. Only a slightly muddled dashboard and comparatively small boot compromise an otherwise flawless package.
It’s even cheaper if you specify one using the carwow Ford Focus configurator.
4. Volkswagen Golf (64,257 sold)
If there’s one thing the Volkswagen Golf offers buyers, it’s choice. There’s a regular hatchback, available with eight different petrol or diesel engines. There’s an estate version, boosting boot capacity to 606 litres and a Cabriolet that helps owners to make the most of the summer sun. Performance fans can choose from the brilliant GTI, the fast and frugal GTD, and the stonking 300hp, all-wheel drive Golf R. That’s available as an Estate, too.
At this point, you might be thinking “ah, but I want a petrol/electric hybrid capable of 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds and a claimed 166mpg”. In that case, the Golf GTE is perfect for you. Fans of fully electric cars have the e-Golf, capable of about 118 miles on a full charge. Regardless of how it’s powered, every Golf makes an uncannily good all-rounder.
Find discounts using our Volkswagen Golf configurator.
5. Nissan Qashqai (54,259 sold)
The Nissan Qashqai offers sharp, crossover style to help it stand out from the crowd of regular five-door hatchbacks. The smooth ride, frugal engines and great visibility mean everyone who gets behind the wheel agrees, it’s a very pleasing car to live with every day.
That the Qashqai has been awarded top safety ratings by Euro NCAP only strengthens its case as an ideal mode of family transport. The cabin is similarly tough, feeling well screwed together and well able to withstand the rigours of family life.
Find out how affordable ownership can be by trying our Nissan Qashqai configurator to see the discounts available.
6. Volkswagen Polo (48,770 sold)
The Volkswagen Polo strikes an excellent balance between ease of use and offering the kind of quality few other superminis can compete with. In terms of both ride and refinement, the Polo manages to feel like a car from the class above. That feeling of sturdiness is popular with buyers too, who appreciate the premium image without the premium price tag.
A wide range of engine choices means that, regardless of your priorities, there should be a model to suit all tastes. There’s even an option of a sporty GTI version – a more grown up alternative to cars like the Ford Fiesta ST.
Take a look at one in our Volkswagen Polo configurator to see what discounts are on offer.
7. Vauxhall Astra (45,487 sold)
The Vauxhall Astra is one of the longest-running sales successes in our top 10, having been in production in various forms since 1979. The UK public trust the Vauxhall badge, while a huge dealer network makes it easy to source the exact model you’re looking for. Now in its seventh generation, the latest Astra is the best yet.
Sharp handling and agreeable ride comfort means it’s one of the best in the class to drive, while its practicality and build quality even outstrip the Ford Focus. Given that the Astra competes very closely on price to the equivalent Focus – and is therefore cheaper than the Volkswagen Golf – the Astra looks like the new class leader in the family hatchback market.
Run the Vauxhall Astra through our configurator to see what deals are available.
8. Audi A3 (42,137 sold)
The Audi A3 has been with us in various guises since 1996 and, as the first premium hatchback to hit showrooms, it’s established itself as one of the most popular new cars in the country.
Based on the Volkswagen Golf, it offers great everyday usability, versatility and refinement. This comes together in a package featuring a beautiful interior and a premium badge. You’re also offered the option of Audi’s quattro four-wheel-drive system for added all-weather ability.
Choose your perfect one in our Audi A3 configurator to see how much you could save.
9. MINI hatchback (38,241 sold)
The German manufacturer’s influence is most obvious in the cabin – the level of fit and finish and the attention to detail is very Germanic, lending this small hatchback a ‘big car’ feel. All versions are good fun to drive (especially the most sporty Cooper S) while the most frugal diesel model achieves a claimed 83.1mpg.
10. Mercedes C-Class (37,748 sold)
The fact the Mercedes C-Class is on this list – and neither BMW 3 Series or Audi A4 are – is a big win for the Stuttgart brand. The C-Class has won many fans among the motoring press for its gorgeous cabin and a frugal engine lineup. On the road, the C-Class is refined, comfortable and accelerates strongly – even the entry-level model hits 62mph from rest in less than 10 seconds.
That second point is especially important for fleet sales – the most economical C 200 d emits just 101g/km of CO2 – putting it in one of the lowest Benefit in Kind company car tax bracket groups available.
Pop the Mercedes C-Class into our car configurator to see what discounts are available.
Save money on your next car
Head over to our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save on your ideal car. To see a range of fantastic options, check out our deals page for our latest discounts. Not sure what you’re looking for yet? Try the car chooser.