The top 10 most popular cars in the UK

The top 10 most popular cars in the UK
The UK's new car market continues to grow with the latest data showing that December delivered 141,092 new car registrations, an increase of 9.8% compared to last year. 

The market has recorded its best year since the pandemic and December was the 17th month of consecutive growth. 1.903 million new cars reached the road during 2023 – an increase of 17.9%, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

This consecutive growth suggests more people are buying and selling cars in the UK. 

As the industry transitions away from fossil fuels, drivers continued to invest heavily in low and zero emission vehicles – which meant average new car CO2 fell by 2.2% to 108.9 g/km.

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) recorded robust growth, up 27.1% to reach a 12.6% market share. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) also enjoyed a strong year, with a 39.3% increase in registrations to account for 7.4% of the market.

Battery electric vehicle (BEV) uptake reached a record volume – up by almost 50,000 units with 314,687 new registrations. Indeed, 2023 saw more BEVs reach the road than in 2020 and 2021 combined.

Overall, BEVs accounted for one in six new cars registered in 2023.

Following the release of the data, Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: "With vehicle supply challenges fading, the new car market is building back with the best year since the pandemic. Energised by fleet investment, particularly in the latest EVs, the challenge for 2024 is to deliver a green recovery.

"Government has challenged the UK automotive sector with the world’s boldest transition timeline and is investing to ensure we are a major maker of electric vehicles.

"It must now help all drivers buy into this future, with consumer incentives that will make the UK the leading European market for ZEVs.

2023 year-to-date new registrations

Make and modelNumber of registrations
Ford Puma49,591
Nissan Qashqai43,321
Vauxhall Corsa40,816
Kia Sportage36,135
Tesla Model Y35,899
Hyundai Tucson34,469
MINI33,385
Nissan Juke31,745
Audi A330,159
Vauxhall Mokka29,984

Most new registration December 2023

Make and modelNumber of registrations
Tesla Model &4,816
Nissan Qashqai4,253
MINI3,608
MG HS3,362
Ford Puma3,157
Vauxhall Corsa2,990
Volkswagen Golf2,555
Nissan Juke2,473
Volkswagen Polo2,415
Ford Kuga2,353

Top 10 best-selling cars in the UK 2023

Ford Puma - 49,591 registrations

ford puma

Ford's popular small SUV, the Puma, is the UK's favourite new car with 37,312 new registrations so far in 2023. Easy to drive, comfortable and practical with a large boot, the Puma is also cheap to run thanks to petrol hybrid technology that keeps fuel costs down. Little wonder, perhaps, it's so popular with car buyers in Britian.

Read our full Ford Puma review.

Nissan Qashqai - 43,321 registrations

nissan qashqai

Popular with family car buyers, the Nissan Qashqai is one of the UK's favourite SUVs. Now in its third generation, the Qashqai is better than ever before. The interior is spacious, and the high levels of refinement make the Qashqai perfect for high mileage drivers who want a class leading family car at a price they can afford.

Read our full Nissan Qashqai review.

Vauxhall Corsa - 40,816 registrations

vauxhall corsa e

The Vauxhall Corsa is a well-priced, practical and efficient small hatch. Available as a petrol or full-EV, the Corsa continues to impress drivers and clock up sales, thanks to its modern interior and generous levels of standard equipment.

Read our full Vauxhall Corsa review.

Kia Sportage - 36,135 registrations

kia sportage

Easy to drive, stylish and backed by a seven-year-warranty, the Kia Sportage is a serious player in the family SUV market. All versions are spacious and comfortable, while Kia’s impressive range of petrol hybrid powertrains make the Sportage rewarding to drive and affordable to run.

Read our full Kia Sportage review.

Hyundai Tucson - 34.469 registrations

hyundai tucson

Practical, refined and backed by Hyundai’s excellent five-year-warranty, the Tucson is an impressive family SUV package. The interior is upmarket and refined, while the soft and comfortable ride quality of the Tucson make it well-suited to UK roads.

Read our full Hyundai Tucson review. 

Tesla Model Y - 35,899 registrations

tesla model y

The Model Y is Tesla’s most-popular car in the UK, with its futuristic cabin and maximum range of up to 319 miles making it a highly desirable electric vehicle. Tesla has registered over 28,000 Model Ys in 2023, placing it ahead of its petrol and diesel family car rivals.

Read our full Tesla Model Y review.

MINI - 33,385 registrations

mini elecrtic

The iconic hot hatch is as popular now as it ever has been - and comes in a variety of models. Admittedly, the Mini has grown in size and is no longer the smallest car in the market, but its keen handling and stylish looks make it a rewarding car to own and drive.

Read our full MINI review.

Nissan Juke - 31,745 registrations

nissan juke

The original small supermini-derived SUV, the Nissan Juke is a worthy rival to the Ford Puma thanks to its eye-catching style and driver-friendly cabin. Most buyers choose their Juke with Nissan’s excellent 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine, while the 1.6-litre hybrid is popular with drivers who want their Juke with a dose of performance.

Read our full Nissan Juke review.

Vauxhall Mokka - 29,984 registrations

vauxhall mokka e

The second-generation Vauxhall Mokka is a stylish and affordable compact SUV, available with petrol or full-EV power. The 1.2-litre petrol engine is shared with the Peugeot 2008 and is probably one of the best three-cylinder turbocharged engines money can buy, while the Mokka’s futuristic styling will also turn heads wherever it goes.

Read our full Vauxhall Mokka review

Audi A3 - 30,159 registrations

audi a3 sportback

The Audi A3 firmly established the premium compact class in 1996. Now, more than a quarter of a century later, the latest generation of this highly successful model is increasing in popularity again at the end of 2023.

Read our full Audi A3 review.

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