Tesla Model Y was the best selling car in the UK in December, third most popular in 2022

The Tesla Model Y is continuing to dominate car sales in many markets around the world. According to the latest statistics out of the United Kingdom (UK), the electric SUV was the most popular car in December, and the third most popular car overall in 2022, including when compared to cars with fossil fuel burning engines.

Data released today from the Society of Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows a total of 10,664 Model Ys were registered in the UK last month. It was a dominating performance by Tesla with the Model 3 in second place with 5,704 registrations.

In a distant third place was the Nissan Qashqai, an affordable compact hatchback which accumulated 3,506 registrations in December, one third the number of the Model Y which sells for more than twice the price of the Qashqai.

The strong finish to the year helped propel the Model Y to be the third most popular car overall in the UK in 2022 with 35,551 registrations. That was only slightly behind the Vauxhall Corsa (35,910), another cheap hatchback, and the Qashqai (42,704).

Making the standings by the Model Y even more impressive is that sales only began in mid-February. If the electric SUV has been available for the full calendar year it is almost certain that it would have taken the top spot and been the most popular car in the UK last year.

Naturally with such a high number of sales, the Model Y and Model 3 were the best selling battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the UK in 2022. The Model Y took the top spot with its 35,551 registrations and the Model 3 was in second place with 19,071 registrations.

The Kia e-Niro (11,197) came in third, followed by the VW ID.3 (9,832) and the veteran on the block, the Nissan Leaf (9,178).

The strong sales for Tesla was indicative of a larger overall trend for the UK car market. In 2022 registrations of gas powered car dropped 10.4%, diesel powered cars dropped by a staggering 38.9%, while in contrast BEV registrations increased 40.1%.

That gave BEVs a 16.6% market share to end 2022, second only behind mild hybrid electric vehicles (MHEV) and petrol cars which held 18.1% and 42.3% market shares respectively.

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