Derry Journal Motoring: Best sellers in 2023

The UK new car market has recorded its best year since the pandemic as a strong December, up 9.8%, wrapped up the 17th month of consecutive growth. 1.903 million new cars were registered during 2023 – an increase of 17.9%, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
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Across the UK, buyers favoured SUVs which dominated the Top Ten best sellers, with only three smaller cars infiltrating the top selling line-up. These were the Vauxhall Corsa, MINI and Audi A3. Overall, the Ford Puma topped the sales list with 49,591 units followed by the Nissan Qashqai, Vauxhall Corsa, Kia Sportage and Tesla Model Y, completing the top five places.

The uptake of all-electric BEVs reached a record volume with 314, 687 new registrations, but this was due mainly to the fleet sector which benefits from tax incentives. Although these overall accounted for one in six new cars registered in 2023, the take-up for private buyers was one in eleven.

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While the government now requires manufacturers to sell 22% of their cars in all-electric drive or face a fine of £15,000 for each one that falls under the target, the SMMT is critical of the fact that the UK is the only country in Europe with no purchase incentives to encourage uptake. There will be a rolling increase in the percentage required until 2035.

Toyota remains, Ireland's top seller.Toyota remains, Ireland's top seller.
Toyota remains, Ireland's top seller.

The best selling BEVs in 2023 were topped by the Tesla Model Y, followed by the MG4, Audi Q4 e-tron, Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2 completing the top five places.

Overall, petrol cars dominated fuel types showing an increase of 13.5% over 2022 with 774,484 sales while diesel sales fell by a similar percentage to 71,501 units.

In Northern Ireland, the Hyundai Tucson topped the sales chart where 45,363 registrations showed a similar 18% increase to the overall UK figure. The top four slots in Northern Ireland were closely contested with the Ford Puma, Peugeot 2008 and Kia Sportage all recording sales in excess of 1,100 units. The Vauxhall Mokka completed the top five.

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Sales in the Republic also showed an increase, up 16% from 2022 according to figures just released from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI). Total car sales finished at 121,850 units compared to 105,398 in 2022. Of these a total of 22,789 were electric cars. The top selling brands here were Toyota, maintaining its dominance, followed by Volkswagen, Hyundai, Skoda and Kia.

Top Irish selling BEV, VW ID4.Top Irish selling BEV, VW ID4.
Top Irish selling BEV, VW ID4.

However, the top selling model was the Hyundai Tucson followed by the Kia Sportage. Smaller model types completed the top five bestselling places with Toyota Corolla, Toyota Yaris Cross and the Volkswagen ID4. The top selling electric choices were the Volkswagen ID4, Tesla Model Y, Skoda Enyaq, Hyundai Ioniq and MG4.

Petrol cars remain the most popular choice at 30%, followed by diesel at 22% and electric BEVs at 19%.

Toyota ended the year as Ireland’s bestselling car brand for the third year running, with 16,532 units sold and four models featuring in the top 10 best-sellers. Donegal accounted for 2,537 new registrations, up just 1.4% from the previous year and the lowest gain across all counties with the exception of Wexford. 305 electric car registrations in Donegal was an increase of 28% over 2022.

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