Most of us drive around at least twice a day, commuting to and from work. We see plenty of vehicles on the road in the process – some of us might even play games, such as spot the latest registration plate.
But have you ever wondered what’s the best-selling car in the UK, and thus the car you’re perhaps most likely to see?
We’ve put together a comprehensive list of the 10 best selling models in Britain last year, according to registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
- Ford Fiesta
The Ford Fiesta was Britain’s best-selling car in 2012, with the firm moving 109,265 units. Not even awareness of a facelift towards the end of the year – equipping the Fiesta with a larger range of engines and more technology – could put buyers off.
- Vauxhall Corsa
The Ford beat off competition from Vauxhall’s Corsa – which sold nearly 20,000 fewer cars at 89,434. The Vauxhall is still a competent and capable supermini, but the Fiesta’s arguably more cutting edge styling and advanced engine line-up make it more of a favourite with the buying public.
- Ford Focus
Finishing third was another Ford – this time the Focus. With the same great 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine (as now fitted to the Fiesta) delivering decent power but improved emissions for those looking to downsize their engines, the Focus was a hit. 83,115 people agreed.
- Vauxhall Astra
Just getting pipped by Ford in the class again is Vauxhall, with its mid-size Astra family hatchback. The British marque sold 63,023 units in 2012, with some of them built here in the UK at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant.
- Volkswagen Golf
The highest placed premium manufacturer to make the list was Volkswagen with the Golf hatchback. Like the Fiesta, a new Golf model recently went on sale, but that didn’t create a lull towards the end of last year. VW still sold 62,021 Golf models in 2012.
- Nissan Qashqai
Nissan’s Qashqai has been around since 2007, during which it has been the best-selling SUV crossover in the UK. The Japanese mid-size off-roader continued its dominance of the market, selling 45,675 and featuring as the only 4x4 in the top 10.
- BMW 3 Series
The BMW 3 Series is the highest placed vehicle from the German manufacturer and proves that people still love to buy premium products. The latest generation 3 Series sold 44,521 units in the UK last year, edging out its upmarket rivals in the form of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4.
- Volkswagen Polo
Volkswagen’s Polo supermini is a solid small hatchback. It offers an upmarket, ‘mini-Golf’ feel for just a small amount more cash than a rival model. Volkswagen upgraded it last year with a high-tech new engine that can shut down half its cylinders to save fuel.
- Mercedes C-Class
Mercedes sold 37,261 C-Class models across all body style variants in 2012. Although not as much as the BMW 3 Series, it shows that vehicles such as the Vauxhall Insignia and Ford Mondeo are not the reliable sales giants they once were, outsold by more upmarket opposition.
- BMW 1 Series
Rounding out the top 10 best-selling vehicles in the UK last year is the BMW 1 Series – that car sold 34,488 units. The cachet of the badge and a full year’s sales of the facelifted model helped it steal a march on the updated Audi A3 and newly introduced Mercedes A-Class.