Crest of a car wave

Has the booming car market finally begun to show signs of slowing?

Sales of new cars here in the UK have been riding on a tsunami for over three and a half years now. No wonder there are big smiling faces in the motor industry. They are very happy about the fact that 2015 will almost certainly be the best year ever for new car registrations.

You may have heard, though, that last month saw the first small dip in this rosy scene after 43 straight months of sales surge. It wasn’t much, just slightly over one per cent, but it put the brakes on the constant upward pattern of demand for fresh metal. The last time there was such a long wave crest of rising car sales was way back in the 1980s, and that time it only lasted for 26 months.

What is the cause of the dip?

It’s interesting that while overall registrations dipped by such a small amount in October, sales of Volkswagens took a hit of almost ten per cent.

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Just to keep things in perspective, though, Volkswagen is still doing pretty ok in the UK for the moment. It still has two cars in the top ten best sellers list: the Golf is at number three in the latest sales chart for last month, and the Polo at number seven. In fact, if VW had managed to sell just five more Golfs in October, they would have overtaken the Vauxhall Corsa for the runner-up spot, behind the Ford Fiesta at number one.

So what are the current top ten selling cars? Looking at the year so far, over the first ten months, Ford still reigns supreme with the Fiesta, which has been top of the sales chart for so long that it is officially the best-selling car of all time in the UK.

Who takes the top spot?

Here’s the list for 2015 so far, which differs very slightly from the list for last month alone: 1 Ford Fiesta, 2 Vauxhall Corsa, 3 Ford Focus, 4 Volkswagen Golf, 5 Nissan Qashqai, 6 Volkswagen Polo, 7 Vauxhall Astra, 8 Audi A3, 9 Mini, 10 Mercedes C-Class.

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So with just a few weeks of 2015 still to go, the new car popularity chart is dominated by Ford, Vauxhall and VW, each with two cars in the favourites list. Will the emissions scandal see the Golf and Polo slip further down the list in the New Year? That’s going to be an interesting one to watch.

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About

Sue Baker is a seasoned motoring journalist with a love of all things automotive.