UK new car market starts 2016 on growth image

After an all-time high for UK car sales last year, 2016 starts also with a rising trend, according to the latest report from The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders.

The UK’s new car market got off to a positive start in January, with registrations climbing 2.9 percent compared with the same month in 2015, to reach an 11-year high of 169,678 units. Private and business buyers drove this growth with demand for new cars up by 8.2 percent to 73,061 and 5.0 percent to 6,716 units respectively, while the fleet sector declined slightly by 1.1 percent to 89,901. The month marked the highest number of new cars registered to private buyers in January since 2004. “January’s solid performance puts the new car sector in a good position to start the year,” Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said. “Providing consumer confidence remains strong, we expect a more stable 12 months ahead, broadly similar to 2015 which was, of course, a record year.” After dominating last year’s sales, the Ford Fiesta remained the best-selling car in the UK in January, with 8,353 units delivered throughout the first month. The Nissan Qashqai finished on the second spot, with 4,839 cars, in front of the 4,803 units sold by Opel (Vauxhall) Corsa.

Alternative-fuel vehicles also grew in popularity – and market share – with registrations up by 32.1 percent on January 2015, to account for a record 3.6 percent of total registrations. Petrol hybrids showed the largest growth – up 44.1 percent to 3,783 cars, while plug-in hybrid demand grew 32.3 percent to 1,592 vehicles and pure electric cars enjoyed an uplift of 14.1 percent to 584 units. Demand for diesel, which just retained the majority market share, remained stable, up 0.6 percent, while petrol registrations grew 3.7 percent.