Britain's new car market shrunk by 6.8 per cent across 2018, according to final year sales data. This contraction was down to confusion over the status of diesel-engine cars, tougher WLTP emissions tests, and, you guessed it, Brexit.


This data may give us an impression of what to expect in 2019.


Across 2018, 2,367,147 new cars were registered nationwide, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). A majority - 1.5m - were petrol-driven vehicles, a segment which saw year-on-year growth of 8.7%.


Diesel sales plummeted by 30 per cent year-on-year, with 750,165 registrations in 2018, compared to 1.1m in 2017.


Registrations of alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) rose 20.9% across 2018, accounting for 6% of the market (141,270 registrations). 81,323 sales were hybrids; 44,437 plug-in hybrids; and 15,474 had solely electric power-trains.


Here are the top 10 best sellers based on 2018 full-year data…


1. Ford Fiesta

Number of registrations: 95,892


The eighth-generation Fiesta continues where the previous incarnation left off: great build quality, lots of space - and it’s still fun to drive.


2. Volkswagen Golf

Number of registrations: 64,892


Supply chain issues caused by the new WLTP emissions tests knocked other contenders off the number-two spot, helping the Golf’s fortunes. But the Golf is still a great car in its own right: Class-leading interior, superb build quality and highly efficient engines.


3. Vauxhall Corsa

Number of registrations: 52,915


The Corsa usually occupies the number two spot, but has seen sales fall in recent times, dropping to fifth in December 2018. A new version will arrive in 2019.


4. Nissan Qashqai

Number of registrations: 50,546


The UK-made Qashqai continues to lead the crossover segment, looking more refined than ever having had a mid-life re-style in 2018.


5. Ford Focus

Number of registrations: 50,492


Problems related to new emissions tests hurt sales of the Focus in 2018, but the popular car is expected to bounce back this year.


6. Volkswagen Polo

Number of registrations: 45,149


The Polo dropped off the top ten in September due to disruption caused by WLTP emission tests, but it should return to former glory this year, boasting as it does sleek styling, efficient engines and a superbly-built interior.


7. Mini Hatch

Number of registrations: 44,904


Suggesting a Christmas-present-desirability, the Mini Hatch rose to third place in December, bagging seventh across the year.


8 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Number of registrations: 43,527


This highly desirable premium family hatchback boasts class-leading technology, a stylish cabin and fantastic build quality.


9. Ford Kuga

Number of registrations: 40,398


Ford's Kuga became the UK's best-selling SUV in December, pushing up its full-year position. A great infotainment system, good build quality and a fun driving experience have all conspired to make the Kuga a hit.


10. Kia Sportage

Number of registrations 35,567


As well as looking great and being kind-on-the-wallet, the Sportage comes with a 100,000-mile, seven year warranty.