March is typically the busiest month for new car registrations as buyers scramble to get their hands on the latest number plate.
But as new car production continues to be impacted by the shortage of components – particularly semiconductors – and the ongoing Ukraine crisis, many carmakers are suffering.
Figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) show that new car registrations fell by 14.3 per cent in March, with 243,479 new cars joining the UK’s roads.
But what were the new cars that proved the most popular? Let’s take a look.
Tesla Model Y, 6,464 registrations
Tesla is not just dominating the electric car market, but the entire automotive industry, with its new Model Y SUV being ranked as the top-selling car in the crucial month of the new ‘22’ plate. With just shy of 6,500 examples sold, Tesla moves firmly into the mainstream.
The Model Y is essentially the SUV version of the Model 3, bringing greater interior space, a more imposing design and the added bonus of seven seats, which remains a rarity in the EV class.
Tesla Model 3, 6,457 registrations
Taking a ‘one-two’ position, Tesla’s Model 3 was the second most popular car in March, with sales only narrowly behind the ‘Y’. This EV continues to offer widespread appeal thanks to its tech-heavy interior, access to the excellent Tesla Supercharger network and impressive electric range of up to 374 miles.
Various versions are available, with a top-spec ‘Performance’ model able to accelerate from 0-60mph in just 3.1 seconds.
Vauxhall Corsa, 5,515 registrations
Though third place in March, it’s worth noting that the Vauxhall Corsa remains the most popular new car in the UK if you take 2022 as a whole. This supermini’s combination of style, value and technology continues to make sure this model flies out of showrooms.
Available with a range of petrol and diesel engines, an electric Corsa-e is also available for those looking to make the switch to an EV, and offers a range of up to 209 miles.
Nissan Qashqai, 5,401 registrations
The Nissan Qashqai is another staple offering in the best-selling cars list, with this UK-built crossover particularly appealing to families, thanks to its generous interior space and impressive safety record.
A range of trim levels is available to suit a variety of budgets, while Nissan will soon be introducing an ‘e-Power’ full hybrid model, bringing lower running costs to this SUV.
Hyundai Tucson, 4,876 registrations
The Tucson is big business for Hyundai, and the latest version is continuing to offer plenty of appeal to buyers, with just shy of 5,000 examples of this family SUV being registered in March.
This latest generation is a big step up from its predecessor, with a striking design, impressive levels of technology and premium interior making it one of the best cars in its class. A variety of hybrid options are available, with the PHEV able to drive on electricity for up to 35 miles.
Ford Puma, 4,755 registrations
The Puma continues to be Ford’s most popular car for a further month and easily outsells once traditional best-sellers like the Fiesta and Focus, both of which have been heavily impacted by the semiconductor shortage.
With its efficient mild-hybrid petrol engines, the Puma has proven to be very frugal to run, while its spacious boot and fun driving experience really help to make it stand out in this class.
Kia Sportage, 4,563 registrations
This new car is a big improvement over the model it replaces, boasting a bold new design and a stunning interior that is brimmed with upmarket materials and technology. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions are also offered.
Ford Kuga, 4,223 registrations
Ford’s Kuga SUV makes a return to the top 10 in March after a few months of absence, which will likely be welcome news to the blue oval. With a practical, well-built interior, the Kuga is a big hit with families, helped by its comfortable ride and generous standard equipment levels.
The Kuga is another SUV that’s available with a wide range of hybrid powertrains, with both ‘self-charging’ and plug-in versions on offer.
Toyota C-HR, 3,910 registrations
SUVs dominated the list of best-sellers in March, with seven models in this list being based on this bodystyle. Toyota’s C-HR is another version, though this car is a sleeker-looking option in this class, adopting a coupe-like profile.
Fitted exclusively with hybrid powertrains, the C-HR is frugal, looks the part and is rather good to drive as well.
Ford Fiesta, 3,890 registrations
Rounding off the top 10 list for March is the Ford Fiesta, only the second supermini to be included in this list. For a car that was 2020’s most popular car overall, it is a bit of a disappointment for Ford, though there are still plenty of reasons to choose the Fiesta.
It remains one of the best cars in its class to drive, while it’s generously equipped and comes with a range of efficient mild-hybrid petrol engines. The Fiesta has also recently been revised for 2022, now gaining a more imposing design and additional technology.