Decade high UK car sales hit top gear

Posted on 4 Apr 2014 by Callum Bentley

UK new car registrations have reached a 10 year high according to the latest quarterly figures from SMMT.

Demand for new 14-plate pushed March figures to 464,824 new car registrations, a rise of 17.7%.

The growth is the biggest seen since 2004 when new car registrations reached 466,954, the highest number since the move to twice yearly plate changes in 1999.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said he expected the market to continue to perform positively for the rest of the year, albeit “at a more modest rate,” stating attractive finance deals and advanced technologies making new car purchasing a serious consideration for motorists looking to purchase.

Top selling cars in the UK – March

  1. Ford Fiesta – 25,753
  2. Ford Focus – 16,860
  3. Vauxhall Corsa – 16,231
  4. VW Golf – 13,142
  5. Vauxhall Astra – 11,359
  6. Nissan Qashqai – 8,858
  7. VW Polo – 8,306
  8. Fiat 500 – 8,136
  9. BMW 3 Series – 7,782
  10. Toyota Yaris – 7,438

“New car registrations surged 17.7% in March to 464,824 units, a surprisingly strong level of growth and a reflection of intensifying consumer confidence and the availability of great new products,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. “Given the past six years of subdued economic performance across the UK, there is still a substantial margin of pent-up demand that is contributing to a strong new and used car market.”

The twice-yearly plate change means March and September alone typically account for over a third of the annual market.