With the first six months of 2018 behind us it is an ideal time to take stock of the new car market. After all, today’s new cars are tomorrow’s nearly new ones, as can be seen by the fact that every car in the list below can already be sourced as approved used via CarGurus, with potential savings of thousands of pounds.
THE UK NEW CAR MARKET IN 2018
According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the trade body that supports the interests of the UK automotive industry, 1.3 million new cars were registered in the first half of 2018. Of those, 62.8% are powered by petrol engines, while 5.5% are alternative fuel vehicles such as plug-in hybrid or electric, and 32.6% are diesel.
That last statistic is particularly important, because it represents a fall in demand for diesel of 30.2% compared with the first six months of 2017, a change brought about due to a combination of anti-diesel sentiment and changes to VED road tax rates that were introduced in April 2017.
Below we’ve rounded up the best selling cars of 2018 so far, with links to approved used examples listed for sale on CarGurus. To see how the list compares with its used car equivalent, see our guide to The 10 Most Popular Used Cars in the UK.
Number sold in first six months of 2018: 56,415
The Fiesta has been a dominant force in the new car market for years now, with buyers loving its combination of affordability, low running costs and excellent driving dynamics that ensure it is both fun and comfortable. The latest version also features a much improved interior.
Search for an approved used Ford Fiesta on CarGurus
Number sold in first six months of 2018: 39,930
It is now three years since the Volkswagen emissions scandal broke, not that the ongoing consequences seem to be doing much to harm sales of the Golf. Facelifted in 2017, the latest Golf is classy, roomy and has an engine to suit your every need.
Search for an approved used Volkswagen Golf on CarGurus
Number sold in first six months of 2018: 30,757
A new Ford Focus might be waiting in the wings, but that hasn’t stopped people flocking to the current model in the first six month of 2018, spurred on no doubt by some tempting finance options. A great choice it is too, for the Focus remains one of the best handling cars in the family car class, not to mention good value for money.
Search for an approved used Ford Focus on CarGurus
Number sold in first six months of 2018: 30,066
Nissan is credited with starting the public’s craze for crossovers, a class it created with the original Qashqai of 2006. More than a decade later the second-generation Qashqai continues to be hugely popular on account of the way it combines SUV space and styling with the performance and running costs of a normal family car.
Search for an approved used Nissan Qashqai on CarGurus
Number sold in first six months of 2018: 28,003
Although some way behind the Ford Fiesta in terms of sales, the latest Vauxhall Corsa is still a good bet, particularly when you factor in how keenly priced it is. The Corsa is well equipped these days too, with features such as a heated steering wheel and excellent touchscreen system all on offer.
Search for an approved used Vauxhall Corsa on CarGurus
Number sold in first six months of 2018: 23,641
Given the popularity of the MINI in both three- and five-door forms it’s no surprise that changes for the 2018 facelift were fairly discrete. So there’s an improved infotainment system, more safety equipment and personalisation options than before, and some snazzy Union Jack rear lights.
Search for an approved used MINI on CarGurus
Number sold in first six months of 2018: 22,027
The third and final supermini in the top 10 is also new to the market in 2018, with Volkswagen having launched its latest, sixth-generation Polo at the beginning of the year. As with its predecessors, the latest Polo majors on offering a big car feel in a small package, and as a result is a seriously refined little car.
Search for an approved used Volkswagen Polo on CarGurus
Number sold in first six months of 2018: 21,784
With three models in the top 10 best sellers list Ford clearly still knows how to appeal to the UK market, whether it’s with conventional cars like the Fiesta and Focus, or SUVs such as the Kuga. As with its smaller siblings, the Kuga stands out for being very satisfying to drive, and is also a refined cruiser. Do, however, check that the boot is big enough to meet your requirements.
Search for an approved used Ford Kuga on CarGurus
Number sold in first six months of 2018: 20,002
Although there’s a new Mercedes A-Class (pictured) now on sale, it is the previous generation model that can claim the credit for getting the car into the top 10 best sellers list over the first six months of 2018. A hugely popular car for Mercedes, the A-Class offers the look, feel and quality people expect of a car wearing the three-pointed star, but at a surprisingly affordable price.
Search for an approved used Mercedes-Benz A-Class on CarGurus
Number sold in first six months of 2018: 19,684
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a fine executive car, with a range that includes petrol, diesel, hybrid and high performance AMG models. Whatever you choose you’ll be greeted by a plush interior, lots of equipment, great motorway manners, and competitive running costs.
Search for an approved used Mercedes-Benz C-Class on CarGurus
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