Best selling cars

Last updated: Mar 6, 2015

Looking down this list, it's easy to understand why these cars are the UK's best sellers. They each offer a range of abilities, meaning they can handle almost anything that's asked of them. They're also cheap to run and if you shop around, it shouldn't be hard to get a great deal on the one you're after.

According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), more new cars were registered for UK roads in 2014 than in any year for a decade. That has much to do with the number of attractive finance deals available at the moment - 75% of buyers purchase their car on finance.

The SMMT found that superminis such as the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Fiat 500 continue to grow in popularity. But the organisation is also seeing more buyers choosing models from upmarket brands such as Audi.

More buyers than ever are opting for alternatively fuelled, low-emission cars, thanks to low fuel and road tax bills and the promise of a £5,000 grant for electric cars. Almost 4,600 of this kind of vehicle were registered this January – an increase of more than 60% over January 2014.

Here, we run down the best-selling cars so far this year – keep reading for the Carbuyer guide to the UK's top-selling cars.

Ford Fiesta hatchback

More cars bearing the Ford Fiesta name have been sold in the UK than any other model. The current version went on sale in 2008 and it has dominated the best-seller chart more than any other car. It's not hard to see why. The Fiesta is handsome inside and out, well built and comfortable. But it's how the car drives that really sets it apart - it offers a fun driving experience that's close to some so-called sports cars. It's safe, too, with a full five-star crash-test rating, while the most economical models can top 85mpg and emit such a small amount of CO2 that road tax is free. At the other end of the scale is the Fiesta ST, which is our favourite hot hatchback. With a range like that, there's something for everyone. Read more.

Key points

4.4 / 5
Price 
£10,145 - £18,145

Volkswagen Golf hatchback

The upmarket Volkswagen Golf is another stalwart of Britain's top-selling cars. Few models have such a classy image, meaning they fit right in whether you're parked at the local football club or a posh country club. Estate and convertible models are available, but most choose a three or five-door hatchback. There are versions that'll return almost 90mpg and performance models like the Golf GTI and Golf R are capable of delivering sports-car thrills. Whichever Golf you choose, you'll find it well built, comfortable, safe and fun to drive. The Golf range is well equipped, too: air-con, Bluetooth, DAB digital radio and a dashboard-mounted touchscreen are all standard. Read more.

Key points

4.6 / 5
Price 
£17,175 - £25,770

Vauxhall Corsa hatchback

There's plenty of choice for Vauxhall Corsa buyers. You can choose from three or five-door bodystyles, five engines and nine trim levels. But the reason buyers are still flocking to Vauxhall's supermini is because it's so easy to drive, so cheap to run and such good value. The latest model offers a more upmarket interior than before, plus a cracking 1.0-litre turbocharged engine. But if it's fuel economy you crave, check out the 1.3-litre diesel - what it lacks in refinement, it more than makes up for in MPG - it can return more than 88mpg if you drive it gently. Read more.

Key points

4 / 5
Price 
£8,995 - £16,235

Vauxhall Astra hatchback

The Vauxhall Astra might not be able to provide the same number of 'smiles per mile' as a Ford Focus, but there's no doubting its ability to sooth away the miles. There's very little noise to bother the driver or passengers on a long run and the suspension on most models is just as cosseting. There are hatchback and estate versions of the Astra available, as well as a three-door hatchback that looks like a sleek coupe. There's also a wide range of engines on offer, the best of which is a 1.6-litre diesel, and there are plenty of different trims to choose from, too. All versions feature air-conditioning and remote central locking, while the Astra also has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. Read more.

Key points

3 / 5
Price 
£15,445 - £25,285

Ford Focus hatchback

A set of revisions to the Ford Focus last year have helped this family car maintain its second place on the list of Britain's best-selling cars. The current model features more eye-catching styling that makes it look more upmarket. It still boasts a wide choice of engines, ranging from the excellent 1.0-litre EcoBoost to the powerful 2.0-litre petrol in the Focus ST performance car. No changes were needed underneath, because the Focus is as good to drive as it ever was. Buyers will spot some differences inside, though, as it's now fitted with kit like Ford's SYNC 2 infotainment system with voice recognition and the ability to read out your text messages. Plus, there are fewer buttons on the dashboard, making all this new equipment easy to operate. Read more.

Key points

4.4 / 5
Price 
£13,995 - £25,585

Nissan Qashqai SUV

You can thank the continued success of the British-built Nissan Qashqai for the proliferation of 'crossover' models on UK roads. It was the first to make a real success of the part-hatchback, part-SUV format, but its real genius is its brilliance as a family car. It's one of the safest cars on the road and offers plenty of space for passengers front and back, as well as a good-sized boot. It has a classy, well designed interior and the more upmarket models are crammed with useful technology. Plus, some versions feature four-wheel drive, so they can back up those SUV looks with a bit of go-anywhere ability. Read more.

Key points

4.8 / 5
Price 
£18,265 - £28,500

Vauxhall Insignia hatchback

The Vauxhall Insignia replaced the much-maligned Vectra and is one of the most desirable Vauxhall models introduced for a long time. There’s a wide range of engines, including a 2.0-litre CDTi diesel that’s available with 118bhp or 138bhp. The car is particularly popular with fleet buyers thanks to its mile-munching abilities and because the interior is comfortable and classy. It helps that Vauxhall dealers have a reputation for offering great deals on their cars too, meaning it’s always worth negotiating on the Insignia’s sticker price. Read more.

Key points

3.5 / 5
Price 
£16,534 - £28,359

Mercedes C-Class saloon

Arguably one of the biggest launches of last year was the new Mercedes C-Class and car buyers were obviously captivated by the new car, as the C-Class is the only new entry to the top 10 sellers list, at number seven. Mercedes set itself the target of beating both the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series with the new car and to do that the C-Class has a classy interior, a very comfortable suspension setup and engines that are up to 20% more efficient than the old model. For now there's a choice of a petrol engine or two diesels, but fast AMG versions and a hybrid will join the range soon. While the car still doesn't match the BMW 3 Series for pure driving pleasure, it's extremely refined inside, making it an excellent executive cruiser. Read more.

Key points

4.1 / 5
Price 
£27,195 - £41,255

Audi A3 Sportback hatchback

The Audi A3 range is wide and varied, but most buyers plump for the A3 Sportback, which is a slightly larger, five-door version of the standard three-door A3. It shares most of the bits you can't see with the Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon, but most of the bits you can see and touch are all Audi. That means a classy design and the kind of interior quality that has become the benchmark for small family cars. The A3 is good to drive – although not as sharp as a Ford Focus – and as long as you're careful with your A3's specification, it's comfortable, too. If, like many buyers, you choose the sporty and very handsome S line trim, speak to your dealer about having the stiff sports suspension replaced with the standard setup. It won't cost anything, but will provide a much comfier ride. Read more.

Key points

4.2 / 5
Price 
£19,195 - £34,950

Fiat 500 hatchback

Few city cars have a more chic look than the Fiat 500. Its retro charm continues to win over buyers, not least because there's the opportunity for almost limitless customisation. It's easy to drive in town, yet is capable of venturing out onto the motorway with little fuss. It's not much fun to drive in the traditional sense, but it provides a feel-good factor that few rivals can muster. Despite this, if you're looking for space for four inside, you'd be better off with a Skoda Citigo. Read more.

Key points

3.6 / 5
Price 
£10,690 - £16,000

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