UK overtakes France as the EU’s second-largest car market image

UK new car registrations rose by 11.3 percent in November, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) announced on Thursday.

149,191 new registrations were recorded in November, taking the total for the year so far to 1,921,052 cars, corresponding to a rise of 5.4 percent, SMMT said.

The results make Britain the second largest new car market in Europe, ahead of France and after Germany, the trade group said. “The upward trend has been driven by private retail customers. The outlook for 2013 remains challenging, but vehicle manufacturers and their dealers will continue to work hard to attract motorists to their showrooms and deliver outstanding value,” said SMMT CEO Paul Everitt.

The UK new car market has grown in every month since March and the 11.3% rise in November ensured the second successive month of double digit growth. The best sold car in Britain so far this year has been the Ford Fiesta, with the larger Focus also seeing high demand. In November, the Focus became the best-selling new car.

Demand for small cars, from the A and B segments, also benefitted from above average growth during the January to November period. At the current rate of growth, SMMT’s full year forecast of 2.013 million units, as fixed in October, looks set to be improved.