These are the top ten best-selling cars in the UK in 2023 – can you guess which car comes in at number one?

It’s been another year of ups and downs for the automotive industry, with in stock deals and affordability the number one priority for most car buyers. After recovering from the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent global semi-conductor chip shortage, the market was rocked by the cost-of-living crisis.

But data gathered by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed that new car registrations were up nearly 20% from 2022, which will come as a welcome relief to many in the automotive world.

Petrol is still reigning supreme as the go-to choice for new cars, with over 770,000 of the almost two million new car registrations. But electric cars are holding strong, coming in second with 314,687 registrations of new EVs in 2023. That’s a 17.8% increase from 2022, with EVs holding a 16.5% market share, followed by petrol mild hybrids with a 15.3% market share and 291,196 new registrations.

It’s not a big surprise, with the Tesla Model Y still proving to be uber-popular, and new entrants to the electric car market like BYD showing that cheaper doesn’t have to be boring.

There’s no doubt that people want economical and affordable new cars of both the combustion engine and battery electric type – but which cars are flying off the proverbial shelves, and which models have slipped down the leaderboard?

Without further ado, we present to you: the UK’s best-selling cars of 2023.

Ford Puma

1. Ford Puma: 49,591 sales

Screaming into first place is surprise entrant, the Ford Puma.

Registering only 35,088 in 2022, it’s shot up the leaderboard from number four to take the crown as the UK’s best-selling car of 2023.

Beating out fan favourites like the Corsa and the Qashqai – not to mention the Ford Fiesta and Kuga – the Puma’s popularity has been rising over the past few years. Ford relaunched the name in 2019, taking it from the sports coupe of the early 2000s and sticking it on the front of this lovely compact crossover.

And after a stellar performance over the past few years, its blend of style, substance and space has turned it into the UK’s favourite new car.

View our best-selling Ford Puma lease deals

Nissan Qashqai

2. Nissan Qashqai: 43,321 sales

More than anything, 2023 has shown that motorists want affordable and economical cars – that they can get without a massive wait.

The Nissan Qashqai (the number one best-selling car of 2022) ticks all of those boxes, and in a world where many of the most popular cars had long waits on factory orders, the Qashqai managed to remain pretty easy to get your hands on.

And with its spacious interior and boot that is just crying out for a game of luggage Jenga, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it once more take the crown next year when the 2024 data is released.

View our best-selling Nissan Qashqai lease deals

Vauxhall Corsa

3. Vauxhall Corsa: 40,816 sales

Taking the top spot in 2021 and slipping to number two in 2022, the Vauxhall Corsa has lost ground once more.

It’s still proving to be a popular choice for motorists – number three is no mean feat when there’s so much choice – with its strong reputation as a reliable, stylish and affordable hatchback.

And with the Vauxhall Corsa Electric giving Corsa lovers an option when it comes to how they want their next car lease, we can’t see the Corsa falling off the leaderboard completely any time soon.

View our best-selling Vauxhall Corsa lease deals

Kia Sportage

4. Kia Sportage: 36,135 sales

The Kia Sportage has been gaining some ground over the past few years.

Appearing on the best-selling car list at number nine in 2021, it hopped into sixth place in 2022, and this year has made it into the top five, with over 36,000 new registrations.

It’s no major surprise. The crossover SUV has swiftly become one of the UK’s favourite cars, with four appearing in the top five alone.

And the Kia Sportage is a good one. Under the bonnet, it’s reliable, capable and agile, while the manufacturer warranty covers it for an impressive seven years.

With its last facelift only improving on the already popular car, the only way is up for the Sportage.

View our best-selling Kia Sportage lease deals

Tesla Model Y

5. Tesla Model Y: 35,889 sales

Appearing on the list for the first time in 2022 at number three, the Tesla Model Y might have slipped a little this year – but it’s still the best-selling electric car in the UK.

Its popularity seems to be going nowhere any time soon.

Though many rivals have appeared on the scene over the past few years, including the now-established Polestar 2 and the much newer Fisker Ocean and BYD Seal, the Model Y is still reigning supreme.

Seeing a slight increase in registrations in 2023, it’s one to watch over the next year. Will it be knocked down by a rival, or will the winning combination of looks, practicality and price prove to be too strong?

View our best-selling Tesla Model Y lease deals

Hyundai Tucson

6. Hyundai Tucson: 34,469 sales

Yes, another crossover SUV. There is definitely a pattern in the cars that the good people of the UK opted for in 2023.

But it’s another good one.

Taking the sixth spot, just narrowly missing out a space in the top five, is the Hyundai Tucson. And though the crossover SUV class is a competitive one, the Tucson has a lot going for it.

It’s a winner if economical (more affordable) driving is top of your wishlist, with the Tucson coming in plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid guises (no diesel engines here), as well as having a bunch of trim levels to choose from.

You really can personalise your Tucson to your budget and your lifestyle.

View our best-selling Hyundai Tucson lease deals

MINI

7. MINI: 33,385 sales

The MINI is a prime example of how the car market managed to – against the odds – start bouncing back last year.

With 32,387 registered in 2022, it came in at number five on the leaderboard. But despite registering more MINI’s this year than last, it’s still fallen back to number seven.

But with its iconic looks, small stature and economical drive, the MINI is still proving popular for those who have a little more cash to splash on a car that can squeeze into even the smallest of parking spots.

And it does look good on the drive.

View our best-selling MINI lease deals

Nissan Juke

8. Nissan Juke: 31,745 sales

Sure, the Nissan Juke isn’t the only Nissan to make it into the UK’s ten best-selling cars of 2023.

And while it might not be the favourite, it is still a favourite. And for very good reasons.

It’s been a trailblazer since its launch, designed as an alternative to the hatchback for those who wanted the SUV feel without the SUV price tag. And though the Juke has been around for some time, it’s still proving popular among buyers.

It’s a strong choice if you’re looking for a small SUV with a quirkier look and plenty of mod-cons.

View our best-selling Nissan Juke lease deals

Audi A3

9. Audi A3: 30,159 sales

One of the few premium brands (and few hatchbacks) to make the list – and the first time Audi has been seen in the top 10 for some time – the Audi A3 Sportback just beats out the Vauxhall Mokka for the number nine spot.

The A3 is a masterclass on how to elevate the hatchback into loftier heights. With its more aggressive styling and high-end finishes in the cabin, it’s premium feel belays its reasonable price.

Beating out rivals like the Mercedes A-Class and BMW 1 Series, there’s no real surprise that the A3 is the nation’s favourite luxury hatchback.

View our best-selling Audi A3 lease deals

Vauxhall Mokka

10. Vauxhall Mokka: 29,984 sales

Practical and spacious, the Vauxhall Mokka is one of the best compact family cars on the market.

Scraping into the top ten best-selling cars for the first time, it ticks all the boxes. It’s small enough to be nimble and manoeuvrable, yet large enough to comfortably fit five adults in for longish journeys.

And with the addition of little creature comforts – like heated seats – and a range of jewel-toned colours, it’s an excellent option for your next car lease.

View our best-selling Vauxhall Mokka lease deals 

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Beth Twigg

Beth Twigg

Beth is our Content and Paid Media Specialist, tasked with creating great articles to keep you both entertained and informed. She has two years previous experience, but has been writing and scribbling for much longer.