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October 2022 new car sales revealed: who were the winners and losers?

The new car market was up by almost a quarter in October compared with last year, and electric cars continue to surge in interest, but which models were the most popular with UK buyers?...

auto, car, cars, october 2022 new car sales revealed: who were the winners and losers?

The UK new car market recorded a third consecutive month of growth in October, according to official figures.

The latest sales statistics show that registrations rose by more than a quarter (26.4%) to 134,344 units, with electric and hybrid cars continuing to drive uplift.

In total, 19,933 electric cars and 15,712 hybrid cars were sold last month, up 23.4% and 81.7% respectively. Plug-in hybrid sales remained steady at 8899 – an increase of 6.2%.

Meanwhile, petrol and mild-hybrid petrol car sales have also seen growth with 56,944 and 20,993 sold respectively – increases of 17.8% and 59.5%.

On the other hand, diesel car sales have continued to decline and only accounted for 8.8% of new car sales in October, down from 10.8% in 2021.

Exacerbated by the recent rise in cost of diesel, cars powered by the fuel have been have been falling out of favour among buyers in recent years, driving the growth in sales of both petrol and electric cars.

Overall, new car sales this year are expected to be the weakest since 1982. An ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips has been causing long delivery delays for new cars, while spiralling energy costs and inflation continue to impact the market.

However, strong order books are helping to deliver a bounce-back in sales, and the market recovery is expected to continue in 2023.

In terms of new car sales, the Ford Fiesta has made another comeback this month, enjoying healthy sales despite the recent announcement from Ford that it will discontinue the small car in June next year.

So, where did it place, and which were the biggest-selling cars in October 2022? Below, we count down the top 10 best-sellers.

Our favourite version 1.0 Mild Hybrid 500 | List price £16,490 | Target Price £16,490 | Target PCP £277 per month

Thanks in part to its distinctive retro style, the Fiat 500 has been a popular seller in the UK since it was launched in 2007. To help keep it up to date, Fiat has recently refreshed the design and added a new mild-hybrid engine to the line-up. Despite this, though, the 500 is impractical and poor to drive, and the newer, electric Fiat 500 is a much better all-rounder.

October sales 2169

Our favourite version 40 TFSI e Sport | List price £35,790 | Target Price £34,299 | Target PCP £452 per month

The Audi A3 is one of the best premium hatchbacks money can buy; it’s a comfortable car that’s both enjoyable to drive and practical. It also comes with a range of punchy petrol, diesel and hybrid engines, which no doubt adds to its appeal. We recommend the 40 TFSIe plug-in hybrid for its impressive electric range, low company car tax and performance.

October sales 2176

Our favourite version 1.2 PureTech Allure Premium + | List price £24,445 | Target Price £23,038 | Target PCP £305 per month

The Peugeot 2008 looks the part inside and out, is well equipped and has a range of punchy, efficient petrol engines. Our preferred option is the entry-level 99bhp 1.2.-litre petrol unit, which should offer more than enough performance for most needs. Allure Premium + trim also gives you loads of standard kit, including a digital driver’s display and a 180° reversing camera.

October sales 2192

Our favourite version 1.2 Turbo 130 GS Line | List price £27,015 | Target Price £25,516 | Target PCP £310 per month

The Vauxhall Mokka has been a strong seller in the UK in recent years. This new version shares its underpinnings with the Peugeot 2008, and, like that car, it comes with lots of equipment and a range of frugal and efficient petrol engines. Overall, rivals such as the Ford Puma and Skoda Kamiq are better all-rounders, though.

October sales 2444

Our favourite version 1.5 Cooper Classic | List price £22,565 | Target Price £21,911 | Target PCP £271 per month

The Mini is a hugely desirable small car that has plenty of substance to match its endearing style. It’s great to drive and has a good range of engines, plus it has one of the best interiors of any small car. However, the ride is a bit firm and there are much more practical alternatives.

October sales 2595

Our favourite version 1.2 Turbo GS Line | List price £21,065 | Target Price £20,009 | Target PCP £251 per month

For much of its existence, the Vauxhall Corsa has been a popular small car in the UK. However, while this current version is a competent offering, it isn’t outstanding in any area. It isn’t as comfortable or as pleasant inside as the closely related Peugeot 208, or as fun to drive as a Ford Fiesta. However, it is well equipped and not too expensive in our recommended GS Line trim.

October sales 2784

Our favourite version 1.0 Ecoboost mHEV 155 ST-Line | List price £26,620 | Target Price £25,038 | Target PCP £277 per month

The Ford Puma is a brilliant small SUV, and it’s easy to understand why it’s so popular. It’s enjoyable to drive and impressively practical, and its mild hybrid technology has the potential to reduce your running costs. ST-Line trim is our top pick and gets you sportier styling, a 12.3in digital driver’s display and more supportive seats.

October sales 3218

Our favourite version 1.5 TSI Life | List price £26,220 | Target Price £25,016 | Target PCP £307 per month

The Volkswagen Golf a highly recommendable family car, thanks in part to its solid blend of ride and handling, practical interior and frugal range of petrol and diesel engines. Our preferred engine is the 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol, which provides good performance and decent real-world fuel economy. Entry-level Life trim also comes with plenty of kit, including a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear knob, automatic lights and wipers and adaptive cruise control.

October sales 3339

Our favourite version 1.3 DiG-T MH N-Connecta | List price £30,815 | Target Price £27,656 | Target PCP £268 per month

The Nissan Qashqai is the car that kick-started the family SUV revolution, and in its current form it remains a top choice for your clan, with plenty of practical touches plus the added fuel economy benefits of mild hybrid technology. Go for a mid-range N-Connecta model to get the best value, because this comes with all the luxuries you’ll want while still keeping the price sensible.

October sales 4228

Our favourite version 1.0 Ecoboost Titanium | List price £21,180 | Target Price £20,239 | Target PCP £268 per month

The Ford Fiesta is a mainstay of best-seller lists in the UK, and it’s easy to understand why. It’s great to drive, with sharp handling and a comfy ride, and most of its engines provide plenty of poke. Ford recently announced that the Fiesta will be discontinued next year as it looks to focus on its electrification plans. However, the appearance of it as the best-seller on this list proves that it’s still the small car of choice for many new car buyers.

October sales 4230

All prices correct at the time of writing

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