WE break down the cars that got Scotland motoring in the past year
For those living in Scotland’s towns and cities, it should come as no surprise that the Vauxhall Corsa is Scotland’s most popular new car in 2015, with 10,867 registered this year alone.
Following in the tyre tracks are Ford, with the Fiesta (8,982) racing ahead of the Focus (5,454) into second position.
This top-three running order was also repeated in the October bestsellers list, which saw 13,459 cars registered in Scotland during October.
Despite a 0.22 per cent increase on the number of cars sold this year-to-date compared to 2014, October 2015 saw a 17 per cent shrink in the number of cars registered one month after the new 65-plate registrations were released in comparison to the same timeframe last year.
All three practical hatchbacks feature a range of fuel-efficient petrol and diesel engines, with new finance options to reflect the stabilised market also cited as reasons for their strong sales performance.
Editorial director of What Car? magazine Jim Holder, said: “Britain’s market is dominated by hatchbacks, because we prize practicality over a perceived sense of upmarket achievement that is attached to saloons. It’s a cultural thing over the rest of Europe and especially the US.
“The Corsa’s position at the top bucks the nationwide trend, and implies a strength for Vauxhall in the market. The Corsa has long been popular, but has traditionally trailed the Ford Fiesta (and Focus too, often) across the UK.
“The new car is good and now old enough that decent discounts are available.”
This year will also be remembered as the year that German carmaker Volkswagen was revealed to have falsified car emissions test results on 1.2 million diesel-engined VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda models UK-wide and over 11 million globally.
Despite the setback to its reputation and approximately £2.5bn loss in profit last quarter as a result of the scandal, the Volkswagen Polo and Golf models have taken the fourth and sixth spots in the table – the only German-built cars to make it into the top 10.
Holder said: “The anecdotal evidence is that [VW Group] dealerships are very quiet. That also explains why they are offering extra incentives for existing owners to trade in their cars for new ones, and there are some incredible used car offers about.
“VW’s reputation was built on engineering trust, and it has been severely damaged. With the revelations still coming thick and fast, customer confidence is very low - there’s plenty of choice, and people will buy elsewhere or not at all.”
Dividing the VWs is the Vauxhall Mokka in fifth place, while the Fiat 500, Vauxhall Clio and Vauxhall Astra take the next three positions.
Rounding out the top ten is the Dacia Sandero, with 3,721 examples of the economy car, made by Renault-owned Romanian car manufacturer Dacia sold in Scotland, to date.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures for 2015 show a UK-wide drop in new car registrations for the first time in three years with a 1 per cent decline.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The UK car market has gone through a period of unprecedented growth and, so far, 2015 has been a bumper year with the strongest performance since the recession.
“As expected, demand has now begun to level off but the sector is in a strong position, as low interest rates, consumer confidence and exciting new products combine to attract new car buyers. The current full-year growth forecast remains on track.”
Britain’s best-selling car in 2015 so far is the Ford Fiesta, which has seen 116,631 examples delivered to owners across the country at the time of publication.