According to motor industry bosses, vehicle production has been hampered due to the shortage in semiconductor chips. New motor sales remained at near-zero levels for almost twenty years, with only 1.6 millions of passenger cars on the market. This was a disappointing 2021 year for motor sector.

Annual car sales were just one percentage point lower than a lockdown-hit year 2020, in which showrooms had to close for many months. It was the second worst year of registrations since 1992. 

Due to significant shortages of parts, manufacturers are forced to make tough decisions regarding production priority. Additionally, more people buy hybrid and electric cars and the UK’s most-sold models for 2021 look very different than it did prior to the pandemic. 

Below is a list of 10 top-registered cars from last year.

10. Toyota Yaris

2021 registrations: ?,???

2020 ranking: 15th (up 5 places)

The Yaris picked up a number of awards in 2021. Toyota's impressive management of the semiconductor chip shortage helped the supermini gatecrash the top 10 best sellers in the UK last year

In 2021, the Yaris won a variety of awards. Toyota’s remarkable management of the shortage in semiconductor chips helped make the superminigatecrash one of the 10 top sellers in the UK.

The new Yaris won the title of 2021 European Car of the year. It was also helped by the popularity of the GR Yaris hot hatch, which is rally inspired.

The Japanese supermini ranked tenth in overall sales, despite glowing recommendations.

Toyota had the most successful strategy to deal with the last-year shortage in semiconductor chips. It also had the stockpiled essential components. It was however hit with shortages in August, and the company had to cease production by September. However, sales of the small car were sufficient to get it in the top 10. 

Toyota’s remarkable management of the chip shortage saw it becoming the most-sold brand in America, surpassing General Motors which held the title as the US’s favorite brand each year since 1931. 

9. Kia Sportage

2021 registrations: ?,???

2020 ranking: 16th (up 7 places)

Price: from £26,745 (2022 model)

Kia dealers would have been shifting their remaining stock of Sportage SUVs before the all-new 2022 car is due to arrive in their showrooms early this year

Before the new 2022 model arrives in showrooms, Kia dealers will have to shift their Sportage SUVs.

Although the Sportage was a very popular family SUV, it landed sixteenth overall in 2020. The availability of cars is probably the reason why Sportage climbed to ninth last year. 

The new Sportage is due to hit the marketplace in 2022. This means that dealers will have to move the last-generation stock. 

It is so appealing to British buyers. It is affordable – that is before considering any discount offered by dealerships to free up space for the new model in 2022.

It is packed with lots of equipment, and comes with a Kia seven-year warranty.

8. Ford Puma

2021 registrations: ?,???

2020 ranking: 9th (up 1 place)

The Puma is - incredibly - the only Ford to make it into the top 10 best-selling new cars of 2021, with the Fiesta and Focus slipping out of the rankings for the first time in decades

Incrediblely, only the Puma has made it to the top 10 most-sold new Ford cars in 2021. Focus and Fiesta have fallen out of the top 10 for the first times in decades.

Similar to the Toyota Yaris and the Ford Puma it has received many awards. In fact, in 2020, it won a series of gongs.

Amazingly, the Ford Focus is the only model that ranks in the top 10 best-selling vehicles, while the Fiesta and Focus are both dropping off the list for the first time since decades.

According to insiders, the reasons for Ford’s stalwarts dropping down in the registrations list weren’t due to dwindling sales but rather a change of tactics from the company which seemed not only more focused on semiconductor availability for its production of commercial vehicles.   

Officially, the Puma is the most-sold compact SUV in 2021. It will also retain the title for 2020. 

7. Nissan Qashqai

2021 registrations: ?,???

2020 ranking: 6th (down 1 place)

The Qashqai has been the best-selling SUV in Britain since it first hit the market over a decade ago. In 2021, it retained the crown

Since its introduction over a decade ago, the Qashqai is the most popular SUV in Britain. The crown was reclaimed by it in 2021.

In 2021, the Qashqai will retain its title of Britain’s most loved SUV. It has sold more units than its competitors yet again. This feat has been achieved since its introduction in 2007. 

The Qashqai is a popular choice among Britons due to the fact that it is made in Britain. It is assembled at Nissan Sunderland’s factory. A new model was released in 2021, with mild-hybrid technology and more equipment. It also features a fresh look, as well as a boost to practicality.

The combination of third-generation orders and the sales of any remaining stock of second-gen models in showrooms have kept the car among the top-selling passenger vehicles for the last 12 months.

As drivers move to cleaner vehicles, a new ePower hybrid will be available. This should cement Qashqai’s place among 2022’s most loved motors. 

6. Volkswagen Golf

2021 registrations: ?,???

2020 ranking: 3rd (down 3 places)

The VW Golf 8 hit the market in 2020, meaning it has been on sale during one of the most difficult recent periods for the automotive sector

It was introduced to the marketplace in 2020. This means that it came on the market during the worst period for automotive sales.

All car makers have suffered from the shortage of semiconductors, including Volkswagen.

This has resulted in the Golf, traditionally Volkswagen’s top-selling car, falling to sixth. In 2020, it was the third-most popular British model after the Vauxhall corsa and Ford Fiesta.

German carmaker Volkswagen has a large backlog of Golf orders due to lower productions at Wolfsburg. 

It was the 8th generation of cars that hit the marketplace last year. This is a significant milestone for the industry.

5. Volkswagen Polo

2021 registrations: ?,???

2020 ranking: 8th (up 3 places)

The Polo rose above its bigger VW sibling - the Golf - in the sales charts in 2021, with figures likely bolstered by the sales of remaining stocks of the previous-generation model that has recently been replaced

The Polo was able to surpass its sibling VW Golf, the Golf, in the 2021 sales charts. This is likely due to the recent replacement of stock of the older-generation Polo.

The Polo is back, just like the Golf.

Its fifth place in the 2021 ranking is most likely due to the sale of stock, which was done to free up space for the newer iteration. Order books are expected open around September.

For the first-time in a long time, the Polo is now selling better than its sibling.

?,??? Registrations Registrations hit??????? last year. ?,??? More than the Golf.  

4. Mercedes-Benz A-Class

2021 registrations: ?,???

2020 ranking: 5th (up 1 place)

The Mercedes A-Class, which starts from just under £26,000, is now the most popular new family hatchback bought by Britons

The Mercedes A-Class, which starts from just under £26,000, is now the most popular new family hatchback bought by Britons

UK’s new favorite family hatchback? It’s a premium version.

Mercedes A-Class outsells Vauxhall Astra, Ford Focus and VW Golf. It also totally thrashes the BMW 1 Series, which is arguably the closest competitor.

The second-generation A-Class arrived late 2017, but it has made a significant impact on UK buyers. 

Its high quality interior design and safety standards have attracted both private customers and fleet managers. The Merc has moved one spot higher in sales than it did last year. 

3.  Mini Hatchback

2021 registrations: ?,???

2020 ranking: 7th (up 4 places)

Despite pausing production in April due to the semiconductor shortage, Mini has sold enough hatchbacks to warrant taking third spot in the sales charts for 2021

Mini was able to sell enough hatchbacks that it earned third place in the 2021 sales charts despite having to halt production in April because of the shortage in semiconductors.

Minis rose to third in the list of most popular new cars in 2021 despite BMW having to stop production at Plant Oxford in April due to shortages in semiconductors.

However, some ?,??? examples are still available. According to the most recent SMMT statistics, there were still some examples of this compact hatchback – three- and five-door versions – registered in the UK.

Mini’s popularity has increased four places compared with a previous year. 

Mini Electric, also made at Oxford Factory, helped boost sales. The zero-emission model of the car was the seventh-best-selling pure electric vehicle in the country last year. 

2. Tesla Model 3

2021 registrations: ?,???

2020 ranking: 14th (up 12 places)

Incredibly, the Tesla Model 3 - despite its £43,000 starting price - was the second most-bought new car in Britain last year, official figures have confirmed

Incredibly, the Tesla Model 3 – despite its £43,000 starting price – was the second most-bought new car in Britain last year, official figures have confirmed

In 2020, the Tesla Model 3 became the first fully electric vehicle to enter the Top 15 British Best-Sellers list.

It reached dizzying heights last year and became the nation’s second-most-purchased passenger vehicle. registrations during 2021.

Amazingly, the Model 3 was not even in the Top 10 at November’s end. 

However, it was able to jump up the rankings due to a shipment arriving in the last month of the year. This is because of its bulk arrival to the UK at the beginning of every quarter. Model 3s were only registered for December.

1. Vauxhall Corsa

2021 registrations: ?,???

2020 ranking: 2nd (up 1 place)

The Vauxhall Corsa has brought to an end the Ford Fiesta's 12-year stint at the top of the UK's best-selling cars standings. It is also the first time a Ford hasn't been the nation's most-bought new model since 1971

Vauxhall Corsa ended the Ford Fiesta’s 12-year reign at the top in the UK’s most popular cars. Also, it is the first Ford not to have been the nation’s most-purchased new model since 1971.

Since its inception, the Ford Fiesta has been Britain’s top-selling car for 12 consecutive years. However, it was forced to hand the reins to Corsa.

Ford must swallow this bitter truth. Ford is no longer the number one seller in the world and has been at the top for 50 years. 

This marks the end to a half-century-old record that the brand held. The last time a car without the blue oval badge on its bonnet was crowned the nation’s best seller was in 1971 when the Austin/Morris 1100/1300 topped the charts.  

It is a mixture of several factors that led to Corsas rising to the top: a lot of fleet sales as well as the popularity of Corsa-e’s all-electric Corsa-e. This car was the most-purchased pure electric vehicle in Britain in 2021.

But, last year the Corsa wasn’t the top-selling British motor… 


2021 registrations: ?,???

Price: from £28,825 (excl VAT)

While the Vauxhall Corsa might be the best-selling car of 2021, more new Transit Custom vans (right) were registered in the UK last year. Some ?,??? entered the road, along with ?,??? Transits (left) - which would be enough to earn it ? position in the list above

The Vauxhall Corsa may be the most-sold car in 2021. However, there were more Transit Custom vans registered in the UK (right). Some ?,??? Along with ?,???, some???? also entered the road. Transits (left): This would earn you the title of ‘???? Placement in the following list

This is right: The UK’s best-selling motor last year was not a car, but a van.

Ford Transit Custom’s top-selling vehicle is Transit Custom, which has a combined total of ????. Last year, there were a total of???? registrations.

According to industry insiders, the increased demand for vans was due to increasing deliveries in the aftermath of the pandemic. Ford prioritised its semiconductor availability over its commercial vehicles. 

The traditional Transit was also sold in huge numbers last year, some ?,??? This is enough to make it the ????’s number one choice. It is good enough to be placed above the???? ??? position in this cars order. 



1. Tesla Model 3

2. Kia e-Niro

3. Volkswagen ID.3

4. Nissan Leaf

5. Audi e-tron

6. Hyundai Kona Electric

7. Mini Electric

8. Renault Zoe

9.Vauxhall Corsa -e



1. BMW 3 Series

2. Mercedes-Benz A-Class

3. Volvo XC40

4. Ford Kuga

5. Audi A3

6.Range Rover Evoque

7. BMW X5

8. Volvo XC60

9. Range Rover Sport

10. Seat Leon


1. Ford Transit Custom

2. Ford Transit

3. Mercerdes-Benz Sprinter

4. Volkswagen Transporter

5. Ford Ranger

6. Vauxhall Vivaro

7. Citroen Berlingo

8. Ford Transit Connet

9. Peugeot Partner

10. Vauxhall Combo

Source: SMMT 

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