It will come as a shock to no one that car sales in 2020 are down to historic levels. With two nationwide lockdowns and travel restrictions in place almost all year, that any significant level of car sales happened is a testament to the work of those in dealerships across the country.
Whether it was making showrooms Covid safe or switching their entire business model to meet the restrictions and demands of customers, innovation has been key to keeping the industry afloat during these challenging times.
These efforts, the two pre-coronavirus months, and a brief period of late summer trading meant that thankfully some cars were sold in 2020. But which ones?
Aside from being the year of the pandemic, in the car industry, it was the year of the electric vehicle. Following almost a decade of prophecy, 2020 really was ‘the year of the electric vehicle’. With pure-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles accounting over 10% of new cars registered in the UK.
Overall electric car sales were up 168% from 2019, however it wasn’t quite enough to beat out the traditional fuel models that make up the UK’s Top Selling Cars in 2020.
- BMW 1 Series – 20,032 registrations
While still popular with UK drivers, BMW just makes it into the top 10. With fierce competition from other premium hatchbacks, the 1 Series looks to finish third in the race against similar models like the Mercedes A-Class and VW Golf.
- Ford Puma – 21,142 registrations
The newest version of the Puma has attracted plenty of fans in 2020 with its new storage features and familiar fun Ford driving style. With sales growth throughout the year, expect it to jump even higher up the list by December 31st.
- Volkswagen Polo – 23,904 registrations
After a slow start to the year – just 7 sales in the first full month of lockdown, the Polo has recovered towards the end of the year to prove once again it’s a reliable seller for VW.
- MINI Hatch- 25,841 registrations
Another strong year for the iconic Mini as it continues to be popular with British drivers. With its Union Jack rear lights and illuminated Union Flag dashboard, no one would mistake you for being anything other than a British driver. 2020 sales have also been boosted by the release of the maker’s first-ever electric version.
- Nissan Qashqai – 27,790 registrations
SUVs have arguably been the most competitive market in recent years, yet each year the Qashqai continues to fight off the stiff competition. Despite a slowing of sales from a hot start, Nissan still comfortably make the top 10 and just miss out on the top 5.
- Mercedes-Benz A-Class – 31,604 registrations
The A-Class has ended the year on a high following a September where it was the third-highest selling vehicle in the UK, and an October where it was the biggest selling car. Despite its price tag, the premium brand and range of finance deals have attracted a lot of new drivers.
- Ford Focus – 33,965 registrations
Almost always present on these end of year lists, this year, however, has seen a downturn for the Focus. Second overall last year, slow sales in September and October mean it could well drop out of the top 5 by the end of the year. Despite the drop, it remains the go-to pick for UK drivers.
- Volkswagen Golf – 35,014 registrations
Another unsurprising entry in the top 10, and even top 3. The Golf is a mainstay of UK roads and despite feeling the effects to lockdown restrictions, it’s still managed to claw back sales at the end of the year thanks to a range of model varieties including a hybrid version.
- Vauxhall Corsa – 39,692 registrations
Great performance for the Corsa this year has seen it jump 2 spots from 2019. With a new pure-electric version available, it’s easily beating out many of its competitors while quickly gaining ground on the big dog of the UK car market, and this year’s top-selling vehicle…
- Ford Fiesta – 43,281 registrations
Another year, another top spot for the Fiesta. The gap to the rest of the field has closed dramatically this year as other models offer more variety and taste change. That being said, the UK’s love affair with the fun and reliable model continues giving Ford the title again of UK’s top-selling car – albeit with dramatically reduced sales numbers.
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