UK car registrations on high

New cars registered on British roads in January increased by 2.9% to 174,564 – the highest level since 2005.

The 12-year high, according to figures published by SMMT, also saw alternatively fuelled vehicle marketshare rise to over four per cent for first time, with registrations up by a fifth. The segment grew 19.9% to take a record 4.2% marketshare. Across other fuel types there was a mixed picture with diesel registrations down -4.3% but new car registrations of petrol cars grew 8.9%.

Across the market, private motorists led the growth, registering 76,729 new cars – up five per cent. Fleet demand also grew marginally by 1.4%, while business registrations fell by one per cent.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, ‘2017 got off to a good start in the new car market, buoyed by a great range of new models which are safer and cleaner than ever before. It’s encouraging to see alternatively fuelled vehicles benefiting from this positive growth, reaching a record market share. After record growth in 2016, some cooling is anticipated over the coming months, but provided interest rates remain low and the economy stable, the market is in a good position to withstand its short-term challenges.’