New car registrations in Europe increased by 16% year on year in April, which industry analytics firm Jato Dynamics has attributed to the easing of supply chain pressures across the continent.
The number of new cars sold reached 960,191 units across 28 European markets, with growth credited to the increased availability of new models and a healthy influx of electric vehicle and SUV sales.
“These results are directly related to the easing of supply chain pressures, which has increased the availability of new cars,” said Felipe Munoz, global analyst at Jato. “On top of this, demand has continued to rise in response to the push from OEMs to widen their EV offering.”
SUVs earned a record share of the market, taking 51.3% of all registrations. The likes of Volkswagen, Hyundai-Kia and Stellantis were the month’s most popular brands.
Electric cars formed 13% of the overall sales volume in April, compared with 10% in April 2022. Volkswagen led sales of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), with 31,900 units sold - a year-on-year rise of 98%. Tesla, meanwhile, shipped 14,200 units, an increase of 865% year on year.
This follows the news that more than half of all new car registrations in Europe were BEVs in the first quarter of 2023.
The volume of all-electric models increased by 43% to more than 219,000 units, which, Jato says, was down to an increase in model choice, appealing incentive packages and lower prices.
EV market share also reached its highest level yet, taking 13.4% of the European car market in the first quarter of the year.
However, it was the Dacia Sandero that once again emerged as the month’s best-seller. The small hatchback notched up 18,695 sales in April, ahead of the Volkswagen T-Roc and Opel/Vauxhall Corsa.
Here is the full top 10 best-sellers list for Europe in April 2023.
The best-selling cars in Europe in 2023
1. Dacia Sandero, 18,695 sales, +44% year on year
Last year’s second best-seller, the Dacia Sandero has fought for the top spot throughout the year so far. Its appeal is bolstered by its exceptional value for money, which will have resonated with buyers as the cost of living crisis continues to hit across Europe. That it’s also a competitive supermini, with a spacious interior and decent handling, makes it an especially compelling buy.
2. Volkswagen T-Roc, 16,746 sales, +19% year on year
The Volkswagen T-Roc is always a popular choice in Europe and that looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. It ranked third last year, and its sales even outnumber those of the Volkswagen Golf. A recent facelift boosted its interior quality, addressing one of the few criticisms of this well-rounded crossover.
3. Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, 16,578 sales, +40% year on year
The cheaper sibling of the Peugeot 208 enjoys strong demand. A refreshed model is due in the coming months – adding Vauxhall’s signature ‘Vizor’ front end and bringing a range boost for the electric Corsa-e – which could catalyse its rise up the charts.
4. Renault Clio, 15,729 sales, +119% year on year
Renault’s popular supermini is now a bigger seller than the Volkswagen Golf: who’d have thunk it? Renault also announced the model’s fifth generation would be sold exclusively with a hybrid powertrain on our shores, but all of Europe will benefit from a wider mid-life refresh and design overhaul. A new interior and a simplified range of options are also on the way.
5. Peugeot 208, 15,026 sales, -4% year on year
The Peugeot 208 was 2022’s best-selling car in Europe, but it has yet to hit that pace this year. Don’t count it out yet, though. Expect it to challenge for the top spot once again later this year, as Stellantis works to resolve widely reported problems with logistics.
6. Abarth/Fiat 500, 13,775 sales, +7% year on year
Is there a more recognisable small car than the Fiat 500? It’s been on sale since 2007 and it’s unlikely to be dropped any time soon. More recently, the model gained an electric variant with a battery size of up to 44kWh. Its range is pegged at 199 miles, but mild-hybrid and petrol models remain on sale as well. An electric version of the Abarth 500 hot hatch is also on the way, with sales beginning later this year.
7. Toyota Yaris Cross, 13,626 sales, +41% year on year
Toyota predicted that the Yaris supermini would outsell its stilted sibling, but the model’s first-quarter result defied that expectation. The Yaris Cross’s trendy shape, fuel efficiency and relatively low cost make it a solid contender in the increasingly competitive crossover market.
8. Volkswagen Golf, 13,209 sales +31% year on year
The ubiquitous Volkswagen Golf has been a long-time favourite in Europe, but it was leap-frogged by the smaller (and cheaper) Peugeot 208 last year. Its slide down the charts doesn’t appear to be slowing, based on its latest sales.
9. Dacia Duster, 12,953 sales, +38% year on year
The second Dacia to feature in the top 10, the Duster is a capable, hardy and – most importantly – cheap model, capturing a significant share of the booming crossover market. It will soon be joined by the Dacia Bigster, a C-segment SUV spearheading Dacia’s push into larger, more profitable segments.
10. Skoda Octavia 12,817 sales, +230% year on year
A hugely successful month for the Skoda Octavia brings the versatile model back into the top 10, just behind the Dacia Duster. The Czech hatch comes with an attractive and practical specification, boasting a class-leading 640 litres of boot space. Drivers can also choose a sporty vRS model, too.