Volkswagen GolfNew car registrations were down 6.4 percent in August 2017 as buyers chose to wait and capitalise on a raft of September 2017 new car offers rolled out in time for the 67-plate registration. 

Traditionally one of the quietest months for new car dealers, 76,433 cars were registered in August, around 5,200 fewer than a record 2016. The big news, however, was the car that sat at the top of the best-sellers chart – for, once again, the Volkswagen Golf beat the Ford Fiesta to the number 1 spot.

But it was a close-run thing; Volkswagen sold just 43 more Golfs than Ford did new Fiesta…

The Vauxhall Mokka X, meanwhile, leapt into third place in the best-sellers list, giving Vauxhall a rapid recovery after a disappointing July 2017 result. The Corsa was in seventh place and the Astra in ninth, ahead of the Nissan Qashqai (of which facelifted models are rolling into dealers right now). Last month’s best-selling car, the Ford Focus, fell to fourth spot overall.

Another standout was the continued growth in alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) registrations – that’s hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric cars. They rose 58.3 percent, to almost 4,000 cars, as buyers switched to greener choices. 

Diesel car sales, in contrast, fell 21.3 percent. 

Year to date, the new car market is down around 2.4 percent, to 1.64 million cars, but makers will be hoping for a big fillip in September thanks to a raft of scrappage-style new car offers

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) chief executive Mike Hawes said: “August is typically a quiet month for the new car market as consumers and businesses delay purchases until the arrival of the new number plate in September. 

“With the new 67-plate now available and a range of new models in showrooms, we anticipate the continuation of what are historically high levels of demand.”

Top 10 best selling cars – August 2017

1: Volkswagen Golf

2: Ford Fiesta

3: Vauxhall Mokka X

4: Ford Focus

5: Volkswagen Polo

6: Ford Kuga

7: Vauxhall Corsa

8: Kia Sportage

9: Vauxhall Astra

10: Nissan Qashqai