With the effects of the pandemic still making life difficult for car dealers and the resulting semiconductor chip crisis halting production for many manufacturers, 2021 was a tough year for the car industry.
Supply issues in the new market saw many buyers turn to used cars, which has seen prices skyrocket.
However, despite these issues, UK consumers bought more than 1.6 million cars in 2021, which was one per cent more than 2020.
Here we take a look at the 10 cars that sold the most last year.
Vauxhall Corsa – 40,914
Despite the rising popularity of SUVs the best-sellers last year were dominated by more affordable superminis and hatchbacks. And at the top of the pile was the Vauxhall Corsa, which has earned a reputation over the years for being a great value for money prospect.
The latest model has smart styling and impressive technology levels, as well as an electric variant for those who want the green option.
Tesla Model 3 – 34,783
The common theme among the top 10 is affordability and value for money, so it might be a surprise to see the Model 3 so high up the list. It might be the firm’s most affordable car, but prices start at £42,990.
However, much of Tesla’s sales success is likely down to two key reasons. The first is that it has always had an online-first sales model, making it more resistant to pandemic shutdowns, while it also makes most of its own computer chips, so it has had fewer supply issues.
Mini – 31,792
The Mini has been a huge sales hit, with its funky retro styling and premium build quality winning it many fans. A recent update has enhanced its quality and appeal, too.
There’s also an electric version, expanding the models on offer – and if any car is suited to electric drive, it’s a Mini, thanks to its smaller proportions and city-focused driving style.
Mercedes-Benz A-Class – 30,710
The A-Class had already proved popular with buyers, offering the least expensive entry point to the premium Mercedes-Benz range. However, the latest generation was given smart looks and a tech-heavy interior to bring it closer into line with the rest of the range, which buyers have loved.
Its fourth place in 2021’s standings continues its impressive sales figures, with its appeal enhanced by fleet-friendly electrified options too.
Volkswagen Polo – 30,634
Volkswagen’s Polo has always managed to capture some of the essence of the Golf but on a smaller scale. It managed to eclipse its bigger brother during 2021 too, coming out just on top in the rankings.
A new Polo has been introduced, so we’d expect to see no decline in the Polo’s popularity during 2022.
Volkswagen Golf – 30,240
The Volkswagen Golf is a household name here in the UK and it continues to be a go-to option for many buyers who appreciate its premium features and wide variety of powertrains. The latest eighth-generation car has brought a whole new look, too, as well as a futuristic cabin layout.
Alongside more traditional setups, GTI, GTD and GTE version all help to ensure that there’s a type of Golf for all buyers.
Nissan Qashqai – 29,922
It’s hard to travel down a stretch of road in the UK without seeing a Qashqai. Billed as the original crossover, the Qashqai appeals to so many people because it’s got so much to offer. It’s practical, well built and spacious inside, while the latest model’s increased technology helps things along further.
A new full hybrid version is set to join the ranks too, boosting the Qashqai’s efficiency further.
Ford Puma – 28,697
Ford’s Puma has been a near ever-present sight in each month’s best-sellers, with this Fiesta-based crossover bringing neat handling, plenty of equipment and a practical interior to the table.
It’s interesting to note that the Fiesta is nowhere to be seen here – it might suggest Ford is putting more emphasis on the Puma instead.
Kia Sportage – 27,611
Kia’s practical and spacious Sportage is one of the best value options in the SUV segment, delivering a robust and built-to-last cabin alongside an efficient range of engines. It looks good, too, with the latest model’s striking design really helping it to stand out from the crowd.
Kia’s seven-year warranty is no doubt another reason why many people flocked to the Sportage during 2021.
Toyota Yaris – 27,415
Toyota’s Yaris takes up the final spot for 2021, with 27,415 examples sold across the year. The latest Yaris has taken what everyone loves about this car – its compact size, reliability and efficiency – and added in a new look and a smart interior, furthering its appeal.
It’s easy to see why the Yaris continues to prove popular with buyers.