Best-selling cars of January 2024: UK’s most popular models revealed

February 13, 2024 by

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The top selling cars of January 2024 have been revealed by the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), with the Kia Sportage taking the top spot. Read on for all you need to know.

The SMMT has published its new car sales data for January, and the Kia Sportage has topped the charts so far this year with the Ford Puma following closely behind. Overall sales are up by 8.2% compared to January 2023, driven entirely by a spike in fleet sales.

Sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles also grew by 31.1% year-on-year, and there were 21% more electric cars sold as well. Diesel continues to fall out of favour with consumers, with sales falling by 10.1%.

With that said, let’s take a closer look at the best-selling cars of January 2024…

1) Kia Sportage

  • Number sold: 4,239
  • Unique selling point: seven year warranty
  • Wowscore: 8/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £2,953*

The Kia Sportage has taken the top spot for January this year, with 4,239 of these practical family cars finding new homes. Buyers are likely to be tempted by this car’s competitive seven-year warranty, as well as the range of efficient engines.

The front-end styling may not be to everyone’s taste, however the interior is a really nice place to spend time and it comes loaded with all the tech you could ever need. Throw in a cavernous boot and you have a near-perfect family car.

2) Ford Puma

  • Number sold: 4,201
  • Unique selling point: An SUV which is fun to drive
  • Wowscore: 7/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £2,539*

Coming in at number two is the Ford Puma. There were 4,201 of these compact SUVs snapped up last month, and the Puma is one of the most fun small SUVs to drive on the market.

It may have tight rear seats, but the trade off is a massive boot for such a small car. It’s also a smart-looking car, and it’s generously equipped.

3) Nissan Qashqai

  • Number sold: 4,008
  • Unique selling point: No-nonsense practicality
  • Wowscore: 8/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £3,627*

There were just over 4,000 Nissan Qashqais sold in January, placing it in third on this list. The ever-popular family SUV continues to offer buyers decent practicality and generous equipment levels.

It doesn’t have the biggest boot in this class, nor does it have the best infotainment system, but it has more than enough standard equipment to make up for these shortcomings.

4) MG HS

  • Number sold: 3,413
  • Unique selling point: A lot of car for not much money
  • Wowscore: 5/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £2,540*

There are few cars on the market which offer as much for your money as the MG HS. For the same price as a lot of small hatchbacks you get a big, practical SUV with loads of kit, and it’s this value for money which put 3,413 people behind the wheel in January.

The interior quality isn’t up there with something like a Kia Sportage, and it’s not the best SUV to drive thanks to a sluggish automatic gearbox. These flaws aside, the HS is a compelling option.

5) BMW 1 Series

  • Number sold: 3,204
  • Unique selling point: Sporty driving experience
  • Wowscore: 7/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £3,201*

Us Brits love a posh German hatchback, hence the BMW 1 Series sits in fifth place for sales in January with 3,204 of them finding new homes. The 1 Series is great to drive, offering a blend of comfort and fun, and it’s packed with the latest tech.

It is quite an expensive option though, and the switch from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive in 2020 may have upset some of the BMW purists out there, however you may look past this for the spacious and high-quality cabin.

6) Mini 3-door Hatch

  • Number sold: 3,079
  • Unique selling point: Endless personalisation options
  • Wowscore: 7/10

The Mini is a staple of busy streets in the UK. The retro styling is instantly recognisable, and this familiarity led to 3,079 of these fun hatchbacks being sold in January. The all-new Mini Cooper has just gone on sale, so only time will tell if the latest car retains this popularity.

The outgoing car may not be the most practical offering, nor is it the most refined on the motorway, but it excels on a twisty road where it’ll put a huge smile on your face. The infotainment system is also excellent.

7) Audi A3

  • Number sold: 2,648
  • Unique selling point: Premium-feeling interior
  • Wowscore: 7/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £1,049*

Coming in at number seven we have the Audi A3, with 2,648 people finding themselves behind the wheel of this posh hatchback. It’s the posh interior which sets the A3 apart, along with the generous level of tech you get as standard.

It may not be as fun to drive as a BMW 1 Series, but this is a car centred around comfort and this is something it does very well. It also touts sharp styling, especially in sporty-looking S Line trim.

8) Volkswagen Golf

  • Number sold: 2,456
  • Unique selling point: A jack of all trades
  • Wowscore: 7/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £2,331*

The ever-popular Volkswagen Golf is one of the best all-rounders you can buy, and 2,456 drivers agreed in January by adding a new Golf to their daily routine. It’s comfortable, practical and easy to drive, making it a great daily driver.

The front-end styling may be a bit marmite, and there are more exciting family hatchbacks out there, but the Golf continues to impress with its range of efficient engines and generous levels of on-board tech.

9) Nissan Juke

  • Number sold: 2,421
  • Unique selling point: Stand-out styling
  • Wowscore: 7/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £3,073*

Very few small SUVs stand out like the Nissan Juke, with the new Toyota C-HR being the only real exception. This bold design was enough to tempt in 2,421 buyers for the Juke in January.

It may be a bit cramped inside, and the infotainment system is showing its age. You can forgive this though because of the low starting price and the generous safety systems you get as standard.

10) Hyundai Tucson

  • Number sold: 2,373
  • Unique selling point: Great practicality
  • Wowscore: 7/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £4,147*

Sneaking in at the end of this list of the Hyundai Tucson. With 2,373 sales in January. The mechanically-similar Kia Sportage proved more popular, possibly because of the excellent seven-year warranty, but the Tucson still has a lot going for it.

It offers family buyers a massive boot, generous interior space and all the kit you would want as standard. The styling may not be to everyone’s taste, but you can’t argue with the excellent interior quality.

*Average savings correct at the time of writing

Best-selling cars of 2023 revealed: UK car market records its best year since the pandemic

Last year saw the UK market record its best 12 months since the pandemic according to SMMT data, with new car registrations up 17.9% in 2023 compared to the previous year. Sales still haven’t reached pre-pandemic levels, with new registrations still down by around 250,000 in comparison to 2019.

This growth was entirely driven by a spike in fleet sales, which grew by a whopping 38.7% compared to 2022. Private car sales actually fell by 0.1%, while business sales were 1.5% down in 2023.

Electric cars also saw a surge in popularity in 2023, with a 17.8% increase year-on-year and 314,687 EVs wafting off forecourts. Plug-in hybrid sales increased by a whopping 39.3%, and there was a 13.5% jump in the sale of petrol-powered models. Diesel cars appear to be falling out of favour though, with a 13.8% drop in sales for 2023.

The Ford Puma took the sales top spot last year, with 49,591 of these sporty small SUVs finding homes. Below is a list of the top 10 best-selling cars of 2023:

  1. Ford Puma: 49,591 sold
  2. Nissan Qashqai: 43,321 sold
  3. Vauxhall Corsa: 40,816 sold
  4. Kia Sportage: 36,135 sold
  5. Tesla Model Y: 35,899 sold
  6. Hyundai Tucson: 34,469 sold
  7. Mini 3-door Hatch: 33,385 sold
  8. Nissan Juke: 31,745 sold
  9. Audi A3: 30,159 sold
  10. Vauxhall Mokka: 29,984 sold

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