November 2022 new car sales revealed: who were the winners and losers?
The UK new car market grew for the fourth month in a row in November, but which models sold in the biggest numbers of all?...
More than a fifth (20.5%) of all new cars sold in November were fully electric – the largest monthly proportion this year, according to official figures. Over the course of the month 29,372 electric cars were sold, 35.2% more than were sold last November.
In total, 142,889 new cars were sold, representing an increase of 23.5% compared with November 2021. This marks the fourth consecutive month that sales have grown compared with last year's figures for the same period.
In November, regular hybrid car sales increased by 66.9%, from 9624 to 16,066 compared with last year's tally. Plug-in hybrid sales fell however, by 5.7% to 10,186. This pattern is consistent with the whole year so far; year-to-date figures show that demand has fallen by 12.4%.
Combined sales of petrol and mild-hybrid petrol cars increased by 20.9%, from 62,442 last November to 75,519 this year. Diesel and mild-hybrid diesel cars sold in similar numbers this November compared with last November, with 11,746 leaving showrooms against 11,118 in November 2021.
Exacerbated by the dramatic rise in cost of diesel, cars powered by the fuel have been have been falling out of favour among buyers in recent years, driving the growth in sales of both petrol and electric cars.
Semiconductor shortages mean that waiting times for new cars are still long, but the consistent market growth we’ve seen over the past few months is expected to continue into 2023, suggesting a slow but steady recovery despite high interest rates potentially making finance and leasing more expensive.
So, which models attracted new car buyers in November? Below, we count down the top 10 best-sellers.
Our favourite version 1.5 Hybrid Icon | List price £21,460 | Target Price £19,971 | Target PCP £225 per month
The Toyota Yaris is a great choice if you’re looking for a hybrid powered small car. The hybrid system utilises a 1.5-litre petrol engine, as well as an electric motor powered by batteries that are charged by the engine, so there's no need to plug it in. This system helped the Yaris achieve nearly 60mpg during our testing. Furthermore, there’s little reason to worry about it going wrong; Toyota as a brand came second overall in the 2022 What Car? Reliability Survey. Unfortunately, the Yaris is let down by cramped rear seats and a firm ride, but it is generously equipped and expected to hold its value well.
November sales 2272
- Excellent real-world fuel economy
- Toyota's reliability record
- Slow predicted depreciation
- Below-par infotainment system
- Firm ride – especially on higher-spec models with bigger wheels
- Cramped in the back
Our favourite version 1.0 TSI 95 Life | List price £21,405 | Target Price £20,481 | Target PCP £256 per month
The Volkswagen Polo is a great all-rounder in the small car category. It offers a comfortable ride, a spacious interior, and strong resale values that keep monthly PCP rates low. Even in entry-level Life trim, the Polo is well equipped, although we would recommend upgrading to the 1.0 TSI 95 petrol engine, whose turbocharger makes it a lot more flexible than the standard engine. If it's performance you're after, though, a Volkswagen Polo GTI hot hatch is also available.
November sales 2277
- Good to drive
- Generous interior space
- Attractive PCP finance deals
- Ford Fiesta is more fun to drive
- Gutless entry-level petrol
- Standard safety kit could be better
Our favourite version 1.5 TSI Life | List price £27,555 | Target Price £26,556 | Target PCP £279 per month
The Volkswagen T-Roc is a fine buy for anyone looking for a practical and refined small SUV. It has a big boot, a relatively high driving position that gives a great view of the road, and a comfortable ride. More expensive trims are best avoided because larger wheels and sports suspension reduce ride comfort, and engine options costlier than the 1.5-litre petrol aren’t worth the extra cash.
November sales 2370
- Comfortable ride and quiet on the motorway
- High-set driving position for a small SUV
- Good boot by class standards
- Touch-sensitive controls can be fiddly
- Upper trims and engine options are too pricey
- Unexciting handling (the Ford Puma is a sharper drive)
Our favourite version 1.0 Ecoboost mHEV 155 ST-Line | List price £26,620 | Target Price £25,038 | Target PCP £295 per month
The Ford Puma is a brilliant small SUV, and it's easy to understand why it's so popular. It's enjoyable to drive and impressively practical, and its mild hybrid technology has the potential to reduce your running costs. ST-Line trim is our top pick and gets you sportier styling, a 12.3in digital driver's display and more supportive seats.
November sales 2408
- Great fun to drive
- Remarkable blend of performance and fuel economy
- Big and cleverly designed boot
- Rear space is adequate rather than outstanding
- Visibility could be better
- Volkswagen T-Roc is more comfortable and quieter
Our favourite version 1.5 TSI Life | List price £26,220 | Target Price £25,016 | Target PCP £307 per month
The Volkswagen Golf is a highly recommendable family car, thanks in part to its solid blend of ride and handling, practical interior and frugal range of petrol and diesel engines. Our preferred engine is the 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol, which provides good performance and decent real-world fuel economy. Entry-level Life trim comes with plenty of kit, including a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear knob, automatic lights and wipers and adaptive cruise control.
November sales 2516
- Exceedingly comfortable ride with adaptive suspension
- Tidy handling
- Strong and frugal 1.5 TSI 150 engine
- Frustratingly fiddly infotainment system is full of software bugs
- Interior quality could be better
- There are more spacious rivals
Our favourite version 1.2 Turbo GS Line | List price £21,065 | Target Price £19,958 | Target PCP £247 per month
For much of its existence, the Vauxhall Corsa has been a popular small car in the UK. However, while this current version is a competent offering, it isn't outstanding in any area. It isn't as comfortable or as pleasant inside as the closely related Peugeot 208, or as fun to drive as a Ford Fiesta. However, it is well equipped and not too expensive in our recommended GS Line trim.
November sales 2537
- Well equipped
- Decent boot
- Efficient engines
- Laggy and confusing infotainment system
- Below-par safety rating
- Poor resale values
Our favourite version 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium | List price £21,180 | Target Price £20,239 | Target PCP £284 per month
The Ford Fiesta is a mainstay of best-seller lists in the UK, and it's easy to understand why. It's great to drive, with sharp handling and a comfy ride, and most of its engines provide plenty of poke. The Fiesta will be discontinued next year as Ford looks to focus on its electrification plans, however it's still the small car of choice for many new car buyers.
November sales 2869
- Brilliant to drive
- Punchy Ecoboost engines, especially the Hybrid versions
- Good fuel economy and CO2 emissions
- Some rivals are better value
- Decent but not class-leading practicality
- Important safety kit not standard
Our favourite version 1.5 Cooper Exclusive | List price £25,165 | Target Price £24,433 | Target PCP £290 per month
The Mini is a hugely desirable small car that has plenty of substance to match its endearing style. It's great to drive and has a good range of engines, plus it has one of the best interiors of any small car. However, the ride is a bit firm and there are much more practical alternatives.
November sales 3312
- The classiest small car interior
- Excellent infotainment system
- Strong resale values
- Ride is a bit firm
- Not as safe as rivals
- Only has two rear seats
Our favourite version Long Range AWD | List price £57,990 | Target Price £57,990 | Target PCP N/A per month
The Tesla Model Y has been extremely popular among electric SUV buyers since its launch, and is the best-selling electric car in the UK so far this year. It’s fast, has a long range and is more practical than the Tesla Model 3 upon which it’s based, thanks to its extra height and hatchback tailgate. However, due to the extra height, its little sibling is better to drive.
November sales 4229
- Rapid acceleration
- Great range between charges
- Tesla’s charging infrastructure
- Unsettled ride
- Noisy for an EV
- A Model 3 is cheaper and better to drive
Our favourite version 1.3 DiG-T MH N-Connecta | List price £30,815 | Target Price £27,656 | Target PCP £268 per month
The Nissan Qashqai is the car that kick-started the family SUV revolution, and in its current form it remains a top choice for your clan, with plenty of practical touches plus the added fuel economy benefits of mild hybrid technology. Go for a mid-range N-Connecta model to get the best value, because this comes with all the luxuries you'll want while still keeping the price sensible.
November sales 5636
All prices correct at the time of writing
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- Lots of standard safety kit
- Great driving position
- Smart interior
- So-so performance
- Some rivals are more fun to drive
- Lacks the seating flexibility of many rivals
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