New car registrations across the UK reached a sixteen year high this past March as the total number of cars registered reached 492,774. This is the highest number recorded since car registrations switched to the twice yearly new plate back in 1999.
The figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders are up by 28,000 from the same period last year. The new car industry is truly booming, reaching its 37th consecutive month of growth, an industry record.
The upward trend was primarily fuelled by fleet sales, which were up by 11.6%. Fleet sales continue to drive the growth of the industry in 2015. However, some industry experts are concerned by the rather subdued retail sales sector.
March tends to be the biggest month for car sales year on year, with the new number plate being the biggest driver of sales. In most years, the month of March counts for a fifth of the year’s total car sales. The strong March figures follow on from a strong February, which had a year on year sales increase of 12%.
The SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes was extremely pleased with the results. “The best month this century for new car registrations is a welcome boost for the UK’s thriving automotive sector. The challenge for a new government and industry will be to maintain this momentum and to strengthen Britain’s manufacturing capabilities through continued investment, innovation and policies which maintain our global competitiveness.”
1) Ford Fiesta – 27,034
2) Vauxhall Corsa – 19,391
3) Ford Focus – 15,442
4) Nissan Qashqai – 12,210
5) Volkswagen Golf – 11,871
Total cars sold 2015: 734,588