Huge savings as Vauxhall Corsa beats Ford Fiesta to number one spot

Published 07 October 2019

The Vauxhall Corsa has knocked the Ford Fiesta off its top spot as Britain’s best-selling car.

Figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal that 12,921 Vauxhall Corsa models were registered last month, compared to 11,643 Ford Fiestas. It’s the first time the Ford Fiesta hasn’t been at the top in a number of years - but all may not be as it seems.

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It comes as the Vauxhall Corsa is about to be replaced by a new model - meaning dealers are offering hefty discounts on the outgoing car. A number of the Corsas registered last month are likely to be registered by dealers in an attempt to clear old stock - a practice known as pre-registering.

As such, there’s now a flood of as-new Vauxhall Corsas on the market with little more than delivery miles. A search of our classifieds reveals that £7500 will buy you a nearly-new Corsa with less than 200 miles on the clock - representing a saving of more than £4000 off list price.

The Ford Fiesta still clings onto its title as the UK's most popular car so far this year, with more than 64,000 registered year-to-date - a lead of nearly 17,000 over the Vauxhall Corsa. The Volkswagen Golf takes third position, with 46,492 registered, closely followed by the Ford Focus, with 45,932 added to UK roads.

Registrations of diesel cars slumped by a fifth in September, while more than 7,700 electric cars were registered - up 236 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Plug-in hybrids increased in popularity by 22.6 per cent, while conventional hybrids remained pretty much the same, with 16,932 registered (compared to 16,827 in September 2018).

September's an important month for new car sales with the new number plate attracting buyers to showrooms - and it was good overall news for new car registrations in September 2019. New car registrations were up by 1.3 per cent compared to the same period last year.

However, overall car sales so far this year continue to be down by 2.5 per cent compared to 2018, with ongoing uncertainty around Brexit and diesel car legislation blamed. 

"September’s modest growth belies the ongoing downward trend we’ve seen over the past 30 months," said the SMMT's chief executive, Mike Hawes.

"We expected to see a more significant increase in September, similar to those seen in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, given the negative effect WLTP had on all European markets last year. Instead, consumer confidence is being undermined by political and economic uncertainty."


Petegeoff    on 7 October 2019

Just the kind of comment we can expect from the SMMT.

HighlanderUK    on 7 October 2019

Just the kind of comment we can expect from the SMMT.

aye, nothing to do with rising fuel costs, insurance costs, stock issues with new cars, long waiting lists, not so good deals on lower spec/outdated models dealers are trying to shift.

Edited by Avant on 12/10/2019 at 12:37

edinburra    on 7 October 2019


Rob Pollock    on 8 October 2019

Once again, as we saw back in 2008/9 when the credit crunch hit, the press whipped up public fear which killed the market overnight, people were scared to spend. The same is happening now with Brexit, all we hear from the UK press is negative stories which scare people into not spending their hard earned cash, which combines with eco-scares (diesels) into further crippling the market. I work for one of the car makers in the UK and know why certain cars were not earmarked for production in the UK - diesel scare-mongering, yet the press put it all down to Brexit. They made up a story and the public swallowed it. The press sold headlines while factories closed.

Paul Mackintosh    on 8 October 2019

Agree with Rob other than the press being the ‘culprit’ for scare mongering, whilst I do agree, I think the biggest scare mongers have been the government AND other gormless politicians along with the ‘save the world’ brigade.
No thought Whatsoever about the electric charging infrastructure, no thought for (couldn’t care less attitude) all those workers in the car industry and the spin off companies associated with them due to a MASSIVE drop in diesel (CLEAN) cars etc etc etc.

A wonderful world!!

aethelwulf    on 8 October 2019

The message I get is that petrol/diesel cars are doomed so why rush out and buy one? I have 14 year old petrol mondeo high VED but no depreciation any more and working fine with 12 months MOT. I also have a 9 year old Piccanto again 12 months MOT and low VED so my average VED is tolerable;e. I have no intention of wasting thousands on depreciation to get the SMMT numbers up. Perhaps within 5 years or so electric cars will be usable for a decent journey, but I will keep my money until I see one working for 200 miles , in winter without charging and not at Tesla prices.

Buddyduke    on 10 October 2019

Where I live the public transport buses now have to be euro6 diesel engines, I had euro6 in my Citroen years ago, much more cleaner than petrol engines. I have got a new car now which is euro8 which is cleaner again. As per usual the papers get the wrong end of the stick, euro6 or above diesels are a lot CLEANER than the new petrol engines coming out now.

jchinuk    on 13 October 2019

Euro 8, really? Just asking as Euro 7 is not actually defined yet?

   on 13 October 2019

Is it worth buying a second hand highbrid if you have not got a charger at home but there are chargers locally, as I have a diesel now?

jchinuk    on 13 October 2019

I assume it's nothing to do with imported cars (like the Corsa) attracting a 10% WTO tariff from next month?

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