Are you the kind of person that likes to do things a little bit differently? To take risks? 

Or do you trust other people’s judgements and accept things for the way that they are?

Whatever your answer, there is a reason why some cars will continue to outsell others.  These are cars that have been put through their paces, again and again, and stood the test of time...

Topping the list of best selling cars in the UK this year is: surprise, surprise - the Ford Fiesta. It was also the UK’s best selling car in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and, well… you get the picture.

So what is it that makes the Fiesta such a firm favourite among the British? It’s certainly not the cheapest car in its category, and competition is fierce. Amongst the list of cars that it has to contend with are the Seat Ibiza, Volkswagen Polo, Skoda Fabia, Kia Rio, Hyundai i20 and Honda Jazz.

But what it does well, it does very well. Handling is some of the best-in-class, with precise turning and well-weighted steering making this car a joy to drive. 

Pros

  • Sporty, great handling.
  • Decent fuel economy.
  • Number 1 for a reason. 

Cons

  • Entry level model missing some fairly standard safety kit.
  • Some rivals are better value.

In second place is another household name, the Volkswagen Golf, which was launched all the way back in 1974. Since then, over 35 million of this family-friendly hatchback have been sold. As the folks at Volkswagen were keen to point out, that equates to one VW Golf sold every 41 seconds. To put that into perspective, in the time since you started reading this article, another 1 or 2 Golf’s have just been sold. 

And there’s a good reason for its continued success. The latest iteration of the VW Golf is one of the most comfortable cars on the market, with a supple suspension and minimal vibration. It’s also markedly plusher than some of the alternatives on the market, such as the Ford Focus and Seat Leon

Pros

  • Great handling.
  • Very comfortable.

Cons

  • Still some cheap feeling materials used.
  • Automatic gearbox is sluggish.

The latest Ford Focus brings some much needed improvements, including a larger boot. This car now has a 375 litre boot, which makes it just about average for its class, but slightly larger than that of the Audi A3 or Mercedes A-Class.

As you’d expect from a Ford Focus, this is a car that handles capably. Steering is natural and it’ll keep composed through corners, even with the entry-level suspension. 

Driving comfort is top-drawer, with height and lumbar adjustment as standard across the range, and the option to upgrade to a ‘comfort’ seat which will offer 18-way manual adjustment, as well as an extendable seat squab. Expect plenty of steering wheel rake and reach adjustment.

Pros

  • Handles like a dream. 
  • Supple ride.

Cons

  • VW Golf has better equipment.

In fourth place is the Vauxhall Corsa - a firm favourite with first-time buyers and more experienced drivers alike. The new model is a vast improvement on the previous generation, and is the first produced since the brand was acquired by French car manufacturer Groupe PSA in 2017. That means that this car actually has a lot in common with the latest Peugeot 208

The interior may not be quite as pleasing as the Peugeot, and the exterior certainly isn’t as exciting, but if you like to keep a low-profile and you’re not a fan of the lion’s claw tail-lights and sharp, sabretoothed profile of the new 208 then the new Corsa is an excellent choice. 

Like the Peugeot 208, there’s also a fully electric version: the Corsa-e. Not the most exciting or inventive name, we’ll admit. As far as electric cars go, it’s reasonably competent. You’ll get 205 miles range from the normal mode, but by switching to ‘eco’ mode you should be able to squeeze an additional 80 miles - not bad for a city car.  It’ll take no longer than 30 minutes to get to 80% charge on a public fast charger either. And of course, because it is fully electric, you’ll be zipping in and out of lanes like a fly that needs swatting, with acceleration from 0-60mph in 8.1 seconds.

Pros

  • Good infotainment.
  • Reasonable interior quality.

Cons

  • Lacklustre handling.

The Nissan Qashqai, or “cash cow”, as punning journalists have called it, has been a hit with consumers since its first release in 2007. Offering all of the comfort, accessibility and visibility of an SUV in a smaller footprint, the Qashqai sits somewhere between a compact MPV and compact SUV. 

It may not be quite as good at handling as the Seat Ateca or the Volkswagen Tiguan but it fares much better than either of these when it comes to minimising engine noise. It’s also very supple, handling bumps better than most of the other small SUVs on the market. 

If you’re looking for the most comfortable family car however, you might want to check out the Skoda Karoq or the Peugeot 3008 instead, both of which pack a bit more room for rear-seat passengers. 

Pros

  • Comfortable ride.
  • 1.3 litre diesel is nice and quiet.

Cons

  • Top-spec models get quite pricey.

After a slightly disappointing third generation which struggled to stand up to the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series, the latest iteration of the Mercedes-Benz A Class sees the luxury German manufacturer bring their A game. Whether you’re looking for an affordable petrol car, a frugal diesel car or a more sustainable plug-in hybrid, there’s an A Class for you.

Starting on the outside, Mercedes has made some big improvements to the car’s aesthetic. The front face of the car features Mercedes’ mesmerising diamond-effect grille, a flat panel design which keeps creases to a minimum and new sleeker looking headlamps which give the car a much meaner look

Climb inside and you’ll notice that the dazzling design does not stop there - turbine-style metallic air vents, a smooth, two stepped-dashboard and gloss trims set this apart as one of the classiest cars you can get for the price. Despite this being Mercedes’ entry-level car, it comes with some top notch tech features to boot. A two-screen set-up for an infotainment system makes things like satellite navigation a breeze. You can also get voice control, mechanical massage seats, ambient lighting, lane change assistance and augmented reality navigation. Take that Tesla. 

Pros

  • Gorgeous interior.
  • Lots of tech. 

Cons

  • Not the cheapest entry-level model, but then it is a Mercedes...

The Volkswagen Polo may be one of the smaller cars on the market but when you slide into the rear seats you certainly wouldn’t think so. It’s very comfortable, with ample leg and head room even for passengers in the back. It doesn’t scrimp on storage space either, with a 351 litre boot and an adjustable boot floor making this a top pick for the practically-minded.

Volkswagen haven’t skimped on the soft-touch materials either, and while it may not have the most exciting dashboard or drivers display it’s smart and practical - which is all you need really. An 8-inch touchscreen comes as standard, while every trim barring the entry-level model comes with Android Auto and Apple Carplay. 

Pros

  • Upmarket.
  • Comfortable to drive.

Cons

  • There are more exciting alternatives to drive.

The Ford Kuga is a family-friendly SUV. But if you’re the kind of driver that likes a big road presence then you’ll love the Kuga’s new front face design. Taking its design cues from the much larger Ford Edge, the new Kuga pairs its larger form factor with a bigger grille and a pair of aggressively shaped headlamps for an altogether much sterner aesthetic. 

It’s great to drive, too. It has sharp steering, grips firmly and resists body lean in corners better than many SUVs - all without sacrificing the quality of the ride. 

As far as trims are concerned, even the entry-level Zetec comes with a number of nifty features such as Ford’s ‘Quickclear’ heated windscreen, DAB radio and cruise control. If it’s technology you’re after then the Titanium trim comes up trumps with its SYNC 3 infotainment system and its eight-inch touchscreen, while the Titanium X adds everything from a panoramic sunroof to heated leather seats with electric adjustment. If that’s not enough, there’s also the Vignale model which brings extra-luxurious leather seating, ambient lighting and Sony speakers.

Pros

  • Reasonable entry level prices.
  • Good reliability.

Cons

  • Interior feels cheap.

The Mini is one of the smartest looking small cars there is. If there’s one thing it demonstrates, it is that there is increasingly a demand for upmarket brands in the supermini class. Once again, it has gone out of its way to prove exactly how quintessentially British it is, despite being a subsidiary of German manufacturer BMW. For example, the tail-lights feature a split union jack design (and yes, it is the right way round). Unfortunately, this is a standard feature, which might raise some eyebrows in the current political climate. 

If you like to stand out from the crowd, Mini now offers custom 3D printed trim panels so you can truly feel at home in your car’s cabin. Or, if you like lights, why not opt for the ‘excitement’ pack, which adorns the central infotainment screen with a ring of lights and places adjustable mood lights throughout the cabin. 

The Mini may be a four-seater, but it will take an olympic acrobat to actually clamber in to the rear of the car if you choose the 3 door option, so go for the 5 door variant instead if you plan to use these seats a lot. Thanks in part to its small form factor however, the Mini is an absolute joy to drive. It tackle corners directly and precisely, there’s minimal body lean, and the basic 1.5l petrol engine sounds sporty and fun. 

At the end of the day though, if you’re looking for a practical car, the Mini should not be at the top of your list. 

Pros

  • Very cool. 
  • Lots of options for customisation. 

Cons

  • Depending on where you live, the tail lights might make you a target. 

If you’re looking for a car with a seriously spacious cabin that stands out against the likes of the Qashqai, Tucson and Karoq, the Kia Sportage is an excellent choice. 

Despite its athletic sounding name, the Sportage looks anything but lean. The angular creases of cars like the Qashqai are nowhere to be found on the Sportage. It looks more portly than powerful. Chummy and cheerful, perhaps, but certainly not a sporting champion.

And to be fair, if you are looking for a car that won’t ever leave your side, you’d be hard pressed to find a better one. If Kia’s standard 7-year, 100,000 mile warranty doesn’t instill confidence in this companionable car, we don’t know what will. 

Pros

  • 7 year, 100,000 mile manufacturer’s guarantee. 
  • Lots of room inside. 

Cons

  • Its big, round body isn’t for everyone.

So that’s the top 10 best selling cars of this year at the time of writing. Chances are, we will see some big changes to this list before long. The climate crisis hasn’t left the news of late and the launch of new electric vehicles like the Tesla Model 3 in Britain have already made an impact on sales, with the latest Tesla finishing 3rd overall in August’s vehicle registration figures. Other popular cars which have been knocked out of the top 10 at some point this year include the VW T-Roc, Ford Ecosport and the Toyota Yaris.

As the UK’s new car market continues to feel the pressure of political uncertainty, new car sales continue to fall. Used car sales, unsurprisingly, are still going strong. But recent figures from the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) show that car finance options make up 91% of the UK’s new car market share. It’s easy to see why people wouldn’t want to throw down big money for an expensive but rapidly depreciating asset. Now that you’ve seen our list of bestsellers, why not see what lease deals you can get - or, read more about the benefits of leasing. 

Our top 10 list is based on the number of new car registrations in 2019 to date, published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Check out the official website for the full, up-to-date figures on new vehicle registrations for the last month and last year.