Sarah Hunt

Sarah Hunt

Sarah is the Marketing Manager here at Carparison, tasked with keeping the fantastic marketing team in line. She's probably the reason you've heard of us, and her wealth of marketing experience means that no challenge is too big.

There's been a change for long-term victor, the Ford Fiesta, which has been pipped to the post as the best-selling car of 2021 by the Vauxhall Corsa.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is a hub of data relating to new car and LCV registrations, manufacturing, and much more.

The SMMT has revealed that car sales for the first half of 2021 are up by nearly 40% compared to the same period in 2020. Looking at June alone, car sales were up nearly 30% this year compared to last. While these figures are hopeful, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has continued to plague the automotive industry, as it has many others. In addition, the global semi-conductor shortage will limit sales potential even further, regardless of higher demand.

There is still a long way to go to reach pre-2020 new car registration levels (June 2021 was 21% down compared to June 2019). However, we can also lean on the SMMT to indicate the clear frontrunners when it comes to the cars that are tempting UK drivers to buy or lease a new car.

So, without further ado, here are the UK’s best-selling cars of 2021 so far.

The UK's best-selling cars in 2021

Vauxhall Corsa

1. Vauxhall Corsa - 27,381 sales

The Vauxhall Corsa achieved second place when it came to the best-selling cars of 2020. 

However, it has done one better for January – August 2021 and takes the top spot by a healthy margin. The Corsa has maintained a strong reputation as a reliable, stylish, and affordable hatchback and has just undergone its 5th generation update. 

This revival, along with its all-electric variant the Corsa-e, is sure to be behind its growing success. We are pleased to crown the Vauxhall Corsa as the best-selling car of 2021 so far!

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Ford Fiesta

2. Ford Fiesta - 24,578 sales

The Ford Fiesta has long been heralded as the UK’s favourite car, and with good reason. 

Take long and trusted manufacturer roots, add pleasing handling and performance, and top it off with carefully thought-out storage, safety, and technology. Bundle this into a stylish yet compact hatchback and there you have it!

While still holding firmly onto second place, the Ford Fiesta has so far lost its crown as the best-selling car of 2021. But with five months to go, it could still crawl its way back.

Looking at the bigger picture, Ford holds the second largest market share overall across manufacturers. This again marks a decline in form: in 2020 they held the biggest overall market share with 9.16%, declining to 8.21% so far in 2021 - just behind Volkswagen with 9.39%.

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Volkswagen Golf

3. Volkswagen Golf - 22,997 sales

The Volkswagen Golf has held on to its hard-earned third-place position again so far in 2021. 

That being said, its position in the rankings is hard to predict thanks to monthly fluctuations: it topped model sales in May, slipped to second in June, and was back again to fifth place in July.

Unlike the Corsa, the arrival of its own fully electric comparative, the Volkswagen ID.3, might be stealing affections rather than building the fan-base for the Golf itself.

Nevertheless, the 8th generation Volkswagen Golf is continuing to prove a success commercially and amongst award boards. It’s already picked up the prize for the Sunday Times Car of the Year and Best Family Car, plus Auto Trader’s Best Car for Long Distances.

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Mercedes-Benz A Class Hatchback

4. Mercedes-Benz A-Class - 22,731 sales

When you think of Mercedes-Benz, you think of class, comfort, and premium quality. Though the A-Class is the smallest and lowest value model among the Mercedes line-up, it still oozes the same luxury appeal.

The Mercedes A-Class is available as both a hatchback and a saloon, and it is the hatchback variant that has become the 4th best-selling model of 2021.

The added MPG of its new mild-hybrid variants are sure to have added extra appeal. However, if you like the A-Class but want fully electric. you’ll have to look the way of the Mercedes EQA. The EQA combines the A-Class chassis with the brand’s EQ styling and is the smallest of Mercedes' impressive fully-electric offering.

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Ford Puma

5. Ford Puma - 22,654 sales

The second offering from Ford in this year's coveted lineup is the Ford Puma. It beats the Ford Focus and Ford Kuga here, which is no small feat.

Early signs of popularity were clear but not assured for the Ford Puma. Ford made the potentially risky decision to carry over the name from the compact sports coupe they discontinued in the early 2000s. In 2019, the name reemerged, this time attached to the brand’s latest compact crossover SUV.

As the best-selling SUV so far this year, it's clearly working out alright for them!

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 Volkswagen Polo

6. Volkswagen Polo - 20,362 sales

The Volkswagen Polo sits comfortably in 6th place within our line-up of best-selling models in 2021. This is subject to change as the year progresses, however, as it topped the list of July sales with 3,000 models registered within the month. 

It is also due for a facelift in the coming months, which will only propel it further up the rankings.

Sitting smaller in stature than the Golf and offering what many consider to be a more premium experience than the Corsa or Fiesta, the Polo does sit in a unique position for car buyers.

All things considered; the Volkswagen Polo is certainly one to watch!

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Kia Sportage

7. Kia Sportage - 20,296 sales

The Kia Sportage takes 7th place among the best-selling cars of 2021 and is the second most popular SUV in the line-up.

The Sportage isn’t far away aesthetically from the Ford Puma, so it’s clearly tapping into a winning formula. Under the bonnet, it's reliable, capable, and agile. Unlike many of its competitors, a new Kia Sportage also comes with an impressive seven-year warranty.

The only way is up for the Kia Sportage; its eagerly awaited new model is arriving soon and will undoubtedly boost sales towards the end of the year. Stay tuned to see whether or not it can climb its way up the rankings and into the top 5. 

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Toyota Yaris

8. Toyota Yaris - 19,605 sales

Due to its exemplary form in July, the Toyota Yaris has jumped from 10th to 8th in our best-selling car rankings and has retained its position during August. Historically underrated, the Yaris is a hatchback with impressive standard specifications, effective hybrid technology, and attractive styling.

Though it doesn't offer the same practical space of close rivals like the Renault Clio or Honda Jazz - its latest iteration is shorter and lower than its predecessor - the Toyota Yaris still performs well both around town and on long motorway stretches.

We’ve mentioned its standard spec, including 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, adaptive cruise control, and a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen. Everything you could need from a day-to-day car, and definitely not something to be sniffed at!

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BMW 3 Series

9. BMW 3 Series - 18,465 sales

The appearance of the BMW 3 Series in the list of best-selling cars of 2021 brings a premium executive saloon to the party. With hatchbacks and SUVs crowding the pack, it’s a hard-fought place. 

And well deserved against coveted competitors like the Audi A4 and the Mercedes C-Class.

Drive, style, and comfort cannot be questioned in this class-leading model. The BMW 3 Series also offers M Sport variants for even more of an upgrade.

It may be in the penultimate position in this line-up, but it’s certainly not in the minds of many UK drivers. Or our hearts.

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Nissan Qashqai

10. Nissan Qashqai - 18,417 sales

The 3rd generation Nissan Qashqai has been praised for its sleeker and more refined exterior. It maintains its affordability without compromising on comfort or quality. It’s also among the roomier of the compact crossover SUVs on our list, catering more readily to bigger families.

Nissan itself heralds the Qashqai as the perfect ‘blend of hatchback compactness and SUV practicality'. And for many, that’s all they need to know!

Unfortunately, there is no electric version available. But with the all-new Mild Hybrid Nissan Qashqai in the making, its popularity can only soar.

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So, there you have it. Now you know the current best-selling cars of 2021.

If you want to get your hands on one of these fantastic models, we can help! Leasing is a great way to drive the latest, safest, and most efficient models more cost-effectively. We search and compare millions of the very best car lease deals so you don't have to.

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