In overall terms, June 2020 was another bad month for new cars sales, with overall numbers down 35% on the same month last year. However, it was a massive improvement over April and May as showrooms across England were allowed to reopen.
In some ways, it was almost a return to normal, with no great surprises in the top ten compared to some bizarre results in the last few months. Private new car registrations were down 19%, which was not great but a lot better than fleet registrations (down 45%), which helped this as well.
With English dealers open for the first time in more than ten weeks, a fair number of the June registrations will be orders placed before lockdown that were not able to be delivered until showrooms reopened. So it may be that the level of real post-lockdown demand is not as strong as it looks.
It will be interesting to see what happens in July, although it may be a bit of a disappointment unless fleets start placing large orders for vehicles to be delivered immediately. On a positive note, June’s numbers include very few cars from Wales, where dealerships only reopened on 22nd June, and basically nothing from Scotland, where showrooms didn’t open until the 29th.
The UK’s best-selling new cars, June 2020
1. Vauxhall Corsa
Third place in April. Second in May. Top of the table in June. Vauxhall has had an even worse 2020 to date than most brands, but the new Corsa seems to be hitting its stride nicely. And it gets bragging rights over its arch-nemesis, the Fiesta, for the third month in a row.
The new Corsa currently holds an Expert Rating of 71% on our unique aggregator scale, based on 23 reviews we have gathered so far. That puts it in the bottom half of the supermini class, although the all-electric Corsa-e does score better. We’ll be publishing our Expert Rating analysis of the Corsa-e in the next few days, but based on reviews we’ve aggregated so far it looks like it will be about 5% better than the petrol and diesel versions.
2. Ford Fiesta
The Ford Fiesta moved up from third place to second in June, but remained one place behind the new Corsa. However, it did extend its lead at the top of the table in year-to-date registrations so there was still reason to smile for Ford fans.
The Fiesta currently holds an Expert Rating of 84% in The Car Expert’s New Car Ratings database, which compares reviews from across the UK motoring media. This is higher than any other car in the supermini class – just ahead of the SEAT Ibiza – so it seems that motoring journalists still prefer it over the Corsa, even if customers haven’t over the last three months.
3. Toyota Yaris
The biggest surprise of the month was the Toyota Yaris supermini popping up in third place. Soon to be replaced by an all-new model, Toyota dealers have been clearing the decks of existing Yaris stocks, which also helped make Toyota’s overall registrations for June look rather good, being almost 3% ahead of the same month last year against a market fall of 35%.
The Toyota Yaris currently has an Expert Rating of 64% in our New Car Ratings database, which is well below average the supermini class. However, initial reviews of the all-new model due to land shortly have been very positive, so Toyota will be hoping for big things.
4. Ford Focus
Like its little brother, the Ford Focus improved one spot in June. Its fourth-placing ranking helped it to overtake the Volkswagen Golf for second place in the year-to-date registrations as we hit the 2020 halfway point. However, the new Golf Mk8 is finally reaching UK dealers so it may be a tough battle for the Focus to keep its nose ahead for the second half of the year.
The Ford Focus currently holds an Expert Rating of 80% in our Expert Ratings database, which is better than most rivals but still 5% off the all-new Volkswagen Golf based on its reviews to date.
5. Mini hatch
It’s almost become a tradition that the Mini hatch range achieves good results when consumer sales are strong relative to fleet registrations. That usually happens in the new-number-plate months of March and September, but it was the same sort of situation in the first post-lockdown month of June 2020.
The Mini hatch popped back into the top ten for the first time since March, which also made the Union Jack-waving supermini the best-selling British-built for the month (note: not all Minis are built in the UK, so you’ll have to check yours if this is something you’re particularly interested in).
The Mini hatch holds a very solid score of 80% in our Expertr Ratings aggregator, which is better than most cars in its class despite being much older than many of its rivals.
6. Volkswagen Golf
The first examples of the new Mk8 Volkswagen Golf have arrived, although this month’s registrations will almost certainly include a large number of the outoing Mk7 model. It’s actually the first time we’ve seen the Golf in this list since March, and Volkswagen will be hoping that the new Golf can sell up a storm over the rest of the year.
We haven’t had that many local reviews of the new Golf yet, but it currently holds an Expert Rating of 85% in our database, which is the best rating of any car in its class.
7. Mercedes-Benz A-Class
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class slid backwards a bit in June, as cheaper vehicles filled the six spots above it on the best-sellers list. Still, another reasonable month for the small Mercedes, all things considered.
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class has an Expert Rating of 77% in The Car Expert’s unique aggregated Expert Rating system. It ranks highly for safety, winning awards from Euro NCAP, Thatcham and What Car? for its protective qualities.
8. Nissan Qashqai
Another familiar face returned to the charts in June, as the Nissan Qashqai reappeared for the first time since March. It just missed out on seventh place, trailing the Mercedes A-Class by fewer than 80 units, but still heads the baby Benz in year-to-date sales. The Qashqai had to yield the honours for ‘Best-selling British-built car’ to the Mini once again, but it’s fair it’s still representing Sunderland proudly as the current-generation model heads towards retirement.
The ageing Nissan Qashqai currently holds an Expert Rating of 74% in our New Car Ratings database, which is midfield for the compact crossover segment and in the bottom half of scores for a top ten-selling car. A replacement is due to be revealed later this year, although the timeframe may be subject to change in light of the chaotic economic conditions currently enveloping the industry.
- Nissan Qashqai (2014 – present) – reviews and ratings
- More Nissan news, ratings, reviews and features
9. Tesla Model 3
Tesla sold three times as many Model 3s in June as it did in May, yet it fell from first place to ninth in the sales charts as the big-name brands threw open their showroom doors. The Model 3 remains a runaway success for the electric car movement, however, taking nearly 30% of all the electric car registrations for the month.
The Tesla Model 3 currently holds an Expert Rating of 85% in our New Car Ratings database, which is certainly very good. However, there are still very few local reviews in our databse so this may vary by quite a bit (either up or down) in coming months once more local journalists get their hands on press vehicles.
10. Volkswagen Tiguan
Rounding out the top ten this month is the Volkswagen Tiguan, a model we haven’t seen in this list all year but an occasional sighting every few months. The Tiguan range comprises the regular model and the longer seven-seat Tiguan Allspace. The current model has been on sale for four years now, which means there is presumably a facelift model in the works that’s due to pop up any time soon.
The Volkswagen Tiguan holds a strong Expert Rating of 79% in our Expert Ratings aggregator, which is not quite the best in class but certainly among the leaders.