UK new car demand fell 8.5% in May, with 186,265 cars registered in the month. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) puts the decline down to politics as “buyers hold back ahead of June general election”. But what cars make the top 10? Spoiler alert: don’t expect any surprises.
10. Mercedes-Benz A-Class
And, in at number 10, it’s the Infiniti Q30. No, wait, that’s not right – this list is entirely predictable. Propping up the top 10 is the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, with 3,367 registrations in May 2017.
“We expected demand in the new car market to remain negative in May due to the pull-forward to March – which was an all-time record month – resulting from VED reform,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. Hashtag positive spin.
A total of 3,535 MINIs were registered in May, as the big little car cements its place in the year-to-date top 10. Just under 20,000 MINIs have been registered in 2017.
Prices start from £14,620 for the three-door and £15,250 for the five-door version. These days, monthly costs are more relevant: MINI ownership starts from £169 with an initial rental of £2,949.
8. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
The C-Class is the second Mercedes-Benz to appear in the top 10, with a total of 4,046 registrations. That’s an awful lot of premium compact executive cars…
In fact, Mercedes-Benz registered 14,660 cars in May, which is more than Vauxhall. Come Thursday, folk will be arriving at the polling stations in posh motors.
7. Vauxhall Corsa
A total of 4,056 Vauxhall Corsa were registered in May, precisely 10 more than the C-Class. At the opposite end of the spectrum, care to guess how many cars Lotus registered in May?
Two. Lotus registered two cars in May 2017, which is 60 fewer than McLaren. Even Chevrolet managed to shift four cars…
6. Vauxhall Astra
Back to the top 10, where we find the Vauxhall Astra in sixth position with a total of 4,170 cars registered in May 2017.
It means that the Astra is Britain’s most popular Vauxhall. And you were thinking it might be the Cascada. Evacuate the showroom floor.
5. Volkswagen Polo
Volkswagen shifted 15,656 units in May, putting it second behind all-conquering Ford. A total of 4,247 Polos were registered in May.
A new Volkswagen Polo is expected to be unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, so now might be a good time to ask for a discount on the outgoing model. You might save a mint.
4. Ford Focus
Year-to-date figures put the Ford Focus in second place, but the family hatchback must settle for fourth in May. A total of 4,455 units were registered in May.
Ford Focus prices start from £19,635, with the ST (pictured) starting from £25,235. Meanwhile, Ford now offers an ‘Option Pack’ for the RS model, which includes a mechanical limited-slip differential.
3. Nissan Qashqai
For a country supposedly in love with crossovers, the Nissan Qashqai is the only example of the breed to appear in the top 10. A total of 4,970 units were shifted in May 2017.
The current Qashqai – which is set to be replaced by a facelifted model – is ranked third overall, with 28,471 year-to-date registrations.
2. Volkswagen Golf
Meanwhile, the Volkswagen Golf enjoyed a terrific month, with 5,449 units registered. Year-to-date, the Golf is ranked fourth, which means the premium hatch is punching above its weight.
Prices start from £17,765 for the entry-level Golf S, rising to £32,310 for the Golf R. What’s number one? As if you haven’t guessed already…
1. Ford Fiesta
Yep, it’s the Ford Fiesta. A total of 7,617 units were registered in May, edging the year-to-date figure above the 50,000 mark. Crazy.
You won’t be able to order a current Fiesta from the factory, as the all-new model is on the way. Some great deals are likely if you’re prepared to accept a pre-configured model.