UK New Car Sales Rise in March image

In March new car sales rose in the UK 1.8% year-on-year to 372,835 units, 18% of the full year’s volume.

March registrations were boosted by a 7.4% rise in private sales, one of the best monthly increases in the past two years. The surprise rise was driven by a sharp 7.4% increase in private sales to consumers, suggesting confidence may be returning in the British economy.

“The important March new car market performed above expectations. Domestic demand for new cars is showing signs of recovery, with private buyers increasingly returning to take advantage of a wide range of excellent products and, this month, the new 12-plate,” said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

The 372,835 units sold exceeded the forecast by some 20,000 units or almost 6%. The increase in March is very important for the UK because almost a fifth of annual new sales are made in March due to the introduction of new registration plates. The Ford Fiesta was the best seller last month, regaining the top spot from the Ford Focus, which slipped to the third place behind the Vauxhall Corsa.