Global supply chain shortages and the rising cost of living hurt car sales in July, but some models still left showrooms in their thousands. So, which were the biggest sellers?...

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

The number of new cars sold in the UK fell for the fifth consecutive month in July, as continued supply shortages and the cost of living crisis continued to affect potential buyers. According to official figures, 112,162 new cars left showrooms in July – 9% fewer than in the same month in 2021.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says that Covid-related lockdowns in key manufacturing regions in China exacerbated the supply shortages already being felt around the globe. This has increased how long buyers have to wait for new cars, and has prompted some brands to slim their range of engines and options as a result.

Continued high petrol and diesel prices are thought to have caused an increase in sales of electric cars, with 12,243 leaving showrooms in July – up almost 10% compared with July 2021. 

So, which were the biggest selling car models in July 2022? Below, we count down the top 10 best-sellers.

Our favourite version 1.5 Hybrid Icon | List price £21,460 | Target Price £20,228 | Target PCP £205 per month

If you want a small car which won’t cost you a lot to run, then the Toyota Yaris deserves a spot on your shortlist. In our real-world tests it returned impressive fuel economy both around town and on faster roads, and Toyota’s excellent reliability record means you shouldn’t face any issues with things going wrong, either. You also get a generous amount of standard kit, with our recommended Icon trim getting 16in alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control and a reversing camera.

July sales 1811

Our favourite version 1.0 VVT-i Pure | List price £15,405 | Target Price £15,405 | Target PCP £183 per month

Not so long ago, the Toyota Aygo was a small car built for the city, but now it’s morphed into a small SUV that’s more family friendly. Like the Yaris above, it should be cheap to run thanks to its efficient 1.0-litre engine, while you also get plenty of kit as standard, including 17in alloy wheels, automatic headlights and air conditioning. Taller passengers will find themselves feeling cramped in the back, though, and the engine could do with a bit more pep, especially on faster roads.

July sales 1939

Our favourite version 1.6 T-GDi HEV 3 | List price £35,200 | Target Price £34,256 | Target PCP £388 per month

With a big boot, generous interior space for four people, plus a smart-looking interior, the Kia Sportage is one of the best all-rounders in the family SUV class. It’s also available as a regular or plug-in hybrid, making it a shrewd buy in the wake of recent fuel cost increases.

July sales 2087

Our favourite version 30 TFSI Sport | List price £22,450 | Target Price £21,696 | Target PCP £242 per month

The Audi A1 is proof that a small car can still feel luxurious. It’s comfortable to sit in, features mostly high-quality materials and is available with the kind of options you’d expect to find on a larger and more expensive model. Rivals get you more for your money overall, but the A1 still impresses with its peppy engines – the 108bhp 30 TFSI is our facourite – and smooth ride.

July sales 2098

Our favourite version 1.2 Turbo GS Line | List price £20,390 | Target Price £19,321 | Target PCP £236

The Corsa has long been one of the nation’s favourite small cars, and the introduction of this new version will have contributed to its strong sales. There are better all-rounders, but it’s easy to see the appeal of the Corsa – it’s cheap to run and well equipped, and you can choose from a wide variety of power options (including the fully electric Vauxhall Corsa-e).

July sales 2121

Our favourite version 1.5 TSI Life | List price £25,950 | Target Price £24,759 | Target PCP £285 per month

The Volkswagen Golf is an ideal all-rounder, and this latest version is still a good option in the family car class. That’s thanks in part to its solid blend of ride and handling, and the frugality promised by its petrol engines (especially our favourite 1.5 TSI 150 version).

July sales 2204

Our favourite version 1.5 TSI EVO Life | List price £27,285 | Target Price £26,494 | Target PCP £283

This five-star SUV is a fantastic all-rounder, offering the kind of high-set driving position that lots of buyers love, and hushed refinement which makes long journeys a breeze. It’s especially good if you opt for our favourite 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine, which offers lots of power but also keeps running costs sensible. No matter which T-Roc you go for, you won’t be left wanting for kit, because even entry-level Life versions get two-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control and 16in alloy wheels.

July sales 2221

Our favourite version 1.6 T-GDi Hybrid 230 SE Connect 2WD | List price £33,370 | Target Price £32,149 | Target PCP £337 per month

The Hyundai Tucson is based on the same underpinnings as the Kia Sportage – and that means it offers similarly gargantuan interior space as well as efficient hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions. It comes with a well-built interior and lots of standard kit, but the ride can be choppy at times.

July sales 2267

Our favourite version 1.5 Cooper Exclusive 3dr | List price £25,165 | Target Price £24,555 | Target PCP £306

The Mini is a hugely desirable small car with plenty of substance to back up its style. Its greatest strength is its classy, well-appointed interior, which we recognised as the best in the small car class in the 2022 What Car? Awards. The Mini isn’t the most practical option – the Mini 3dr has only two seats in the back – and it scored a slightly disappointing four stars for safety when it was tested by Euro NCAP.

July sales 2410

Our favourite version 1.3 DiG-T MH N-Connecta | List price £30,815 | Target Price £27,906 | Target PCP £284 per month

With a well-built interior and lots of standard safety kit – so much that it won our Safety Award for 2022 – the Qashqai is a strong contender in the family SUV class. It’s not the most inspiring car to drive, though, and it lacks the seating flexibility of rivals such as the Hyundai Tucson.

July sales 2514

All prices correct at the time of writing

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