Car registrations return to growth

Following October’s decline – the first in 44 months – registrations of new cars in the UK returned to growth in November, according to figures released today by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

In total, 178,876 cars were registered in the month, an increase of 3.8% over November 2014, while the overall market in the first 11 months of 2015 has seen 6.2% growth to 2,453,426 units.

Demand for both petrol and diesel models remains robust with respective gains of 3.8% and 3.6%, while the popularity of alternatively fuelled vehicles continues to grow with an 8.6% uplift. Registrations to fleet buyers (up 8.7%) increased ahead of those to private customers (up 2%), continuing a trend that has been evident for several months.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, ‘November’s figures come as a reminder of the strength of the UK car market, as low interest rates and competitive finance deals continue to attract consumers to new car ownership. We have been expecting a levelling-off in demand for some time now – a development that is being realised following an unprecedented three-and-a-half years of non-stop growth.’

Commenting on the figures, Sue Robinson, director of National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), said, ‘Competitive pricing, continued low interest rates and strong finance incentives have driven new car sales in 2015, and the NFDA expect the market to remain strong into the New Year.’