Buying a new car: Fiesta, Yaris & Polo among the UK's best-selling cars

Updated on 13 September 2021 | 0 Comments

Which cars are the most popular among buyers – and do they deserve that popularity? We reveal the 10 best-selling cars in August and what you'll expect to pay for them.


Sales of new cars dropped sharply in August, new data from the Society of Mortgage Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed. New car registrations dropped 22% in the month to 68,033.

August is traditionally a quiet month ahead of the plate-change in September, but it’s also notable that it was the weakest August since 2013, with registrations down 7.6% on the average recorded over the last decade.

Nonetheless plenty of motorists picked up new cars in the month, so let’s take a look at which cars are proving most popular among drivers looking for a new set of wheels, as well as how much you can expect to pay for them.

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10 ‒ Toyota Corolla

The Corolla is a new entry into the best-selling list, having shifted 1,033 units in the month. Its RRP starts at £24,485.

It’s a cracking family car, winning praise from the experts at WhatCar? for offering many of the benefits of its stablemate the Prius, but with “far more conventional looks”. 

9 ‒ Mercedes Benz A-Class

The A-Class is a premium family hatchback, with prices starting at £24,100.

It’s well liked by WhatCar? reviewers, as it’s comfortable for long trips, has an excellent infotainment system, and plenty of tech on the interior.

It is also selling well, shifting 1,047 units in August. It’s the fourth best-selling car of 2021 so far too.

8 ‒ Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta remains a bestseller according to WhatCar? (Image: Shutterstock)

The Ford Fiesta is the second best-selling car of 2021 to date, yet it is only down in eighth place for August with 1,057 models sold.

It’s great to drive, and won’t break the bank either, with an RRP of £16,645 and respectable running costs.

7 ‒ Vauxhall Corsa

The Corsa is the nation’s favourite car of 2021, having sold a whopping 27,381 units in the year to date. It’s not had a vintage couple of months sales-wise though, only making seventh place in August. It sold 1,166 units in the month.

With an RRP starting at £17,015, it’s not the costliest motor around, while WhatCar? points out that the fact it is usually cheap to insure will also boost its appeal against other small cars.

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6 ‒ Hyundai Tucson

The Tucson is a new entry, shifting 1,169 units in the month.

The family SUV has an RRP starting at £28,710, and wins praise from the reviewers at WhatCar? on the basis of a well-made interior and plenty of space for passengers and luggage alike. However, the ride does apparently get “a bit choppy”at times.

5 ‒ BMW 3-Series

The BMW 3-Series is the ninth best-selling model of 2021, but has had a far better August, securing fifth place for the month with sales of 1,277 units. 

It’s a phenomenal car too, with the reviewers at WhatCar?, describing it as “one of the most desirable” motors around with a great range of engines, plenty of infotainment systems and a “long list of standard safety equipment”.

It’s not cheap though, with an RRP starting at £32,595.

4 ‒ Kia Sportage

The Sportage drops down from third spot in July with sales of 1,355. It’s also the seventh best-selling car of the year.

It’s a family SUV that WhatCar? praises for delivering great value for money, so long as you stick to the lower trim levels.

While other SUVs are apparently more comfortable and fun to drive, the fact that the Sportage is good at retaining its value is another selling point.

It has an RRP of £23,810.

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3 ‒ Toyota Yaris

The Yaris is the second Toyota to make the list this month, with sales of 1,480 in August.

It is the eighth top selling motor of the year so far. 

There is no shortage of selling points for the Yaris, from its excellent fuel economy to its impressive reliability.

Perhaps most importantly of all, the WhatCar? team reckons it will hold its value well. It comes with an RRP of £20,210.

2 ‒ Volkswagen Polo

The Polo sold 1,761 units in the month, while it is the sixth best-selling car of 2021 so far.

WhatCar? reckons that few small cars can rival the Polo for quality, describing it as a “truly great all-rounder.”

1 ‒ Ford Puma

Taking top spot for the month is the Ford Puma. Over the month of August, it shifted 1,801 units, while it is the fifth best-selling model of the year to date.

It’s worth reflecting on the fact that this small SUV is a former car of the year in the WhatCar? Awards, boasting plenty of space for families and a cracking drive.

It has an RRP starting at £20,745.

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Save a packet on your next car

Of course, whether you’re going for one of these best-selling models or something a little more niche has caught your eye, you’re going to want to bag a bargain when it comes to actually getting your hands on the keys. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of simple ways to save money when you do so, from doing your research on what really constitutes a fair price to giving haggling a go and seeing if you can get the dealer to knock a few quid off the listed price.

For more, check out our guide to buying a car for less.

*This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently.


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