Ford Ranger most popular new car bought in New Zealand in 2021

If you've splashed out on a new car in the last year you're not alone - the number of New Zealanders buying vehicles reached a new record.

As the borders remain closed, some Kiwis are instead choosing to spend their travel money on a new set of wheels.

The Motor Industry Association says 2021 finished with a record-breaking 165,287 new car registrations, an increase of 38.3 percent over 2020.

Ford Rangers remain in the top spot as the country's best-selling new vehicle, racking up close to 13,000 sales. 

But the Toyota Hilux isn't far behind in second place, followed closely by the Mitsubushi Outlander. 

"The practicality, the versatility and the comfort that they have now means people are very keen on those types of vehicles," says New Zealand Automobile Association (AA) spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

And while those vehicles aren't eco-friendly, there has also been a steady rise in sales for electric and hybrid vehicles.

That trend comes after the Government introduced its electric vehicle rebate scheme, which allows Kiwis to claim back up to $8000 on their purchase. 

That's helped the Tesla Model 3 become the first electric vehicle ever to make the top 10 best-selling car list. 

"The Government subsidy has really helped get people across the line when purchasing a new electric vehicle making that change so no surprise in seeing that number jumping up," says Thomsen.

When it comes to hybrids, Toyota has dominated with the RAV-4, Corolla and Highlander coming in as the three top sellers.

Industry insiders say we should expect to see more of that in 2022.

NZ's top 15 best-selling new commercial vehicle models of 2021:

  1. Ford Ranger
  2. Toyota Hilux
  3. Mitsubishi Triton
  4. Nissan Navara
  5. Isuzu D-Max
  6. Toyota HiAce
  7. Mazda BT-50
  8. Great Wall GWM Cannon
  9. Ford Transit
  10. Hyundai Iload
  11. Fiat Ducato
  12. LDV G10
  13. LDV T60
  14. Mitsubishi Express
  15. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

NZ's top 15 best-selling new car/SUV vehicle models of 2021:

  1. Mitsubishi Outlander
  2. Toyota RAV4
  3. Mitsubishi ASX
  4. Toyota Corolla
  5. Tesla Model 3
  6. Mazda CX-5
  7. Suzuki Swift
  8. MG ZS
  9. Kia Stonic
  10. Nissan X-Trail
  11. Hyundai Kona
  12. Kia Seltos
  13. Kia Sportage
  14. Nissan Qashqai
  15. Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross