The Luton based maker won 17.5 per cent of the market, recording 19,058 sales from a monthly total of 108,691 cars.
This knocked Ford off first place. The blue oval registered 18,188 cars, for a 16.7 per cent market share.
However, Ford still had the number one car. The Ford Fiesta beat the Vauxhall Corsa into 2nd place, while the Ford Focus also topped the Vauxhall Astra.
Vauxhall’s edge was aided by run-out deals on the outgoing Vectra. This model recorded over 4000 sales in December, despite being replaced by the Insignia. Impressively, even in its final month, the Vectra was still a top 5 best seller.
The Insignia arrived at car dealers in January; 307 were registered in December.
Significantly, however, while the Ford Mondeo didn’t make December’s top 10, it still sold more than the Vauxhall Vectra overall in 2008 – 44,150 against 42,555. This illustrates the level of deals that were anecdotally available.
Overall, in a market down 21 per cent, Vauxhall was proud it was able to mark a much lesser decline, of 5.9 per cent. Ford’s decline was over 16 per cent.
Andy Gilson, Vauxhall’s marketing director, said: ‘We’re delighted to be at the top of the UK’s registration league once again, and also buoyed by the Corsa’s strong performance in Scotland, as well as the rest of the UK.
He was also confident the Insignia marked an opportunity for dealers. ‘We now look forward to welcoming customers into our dealerships to test the new, award-winning Insignia.’