Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says registrations of new cars in the UK grew 7.0% in the first half of 2015 to the highest half-year total on record.
A staggering 1,376,889 cars were registered between January and June – higher than the previous record of 1,376,565 in the same period in 2004.
Buyers’ appetite for British-built cars is on the increase, meanwhile, with 13.9% (around one in six) choosing a UK-manufactured vehicle so far this year – the highest level in five years.
Ford Fiesta led the sales with over 12,500 registered to 9,561 Vauxhall Corsas and they narrowly beat the third placed Ford Focus at 9,089, which was the best selling family-sized hatchback.
Low interest rates and attractive finance deals, combined with a wealth of new models featuring the latest technologies, have continued to encourage consumers to purchase new cars. June marked the 40th consecutive month of growth in the market with a 12.9% increase in the month to 257,817 units.
A significant feature of recent months has been a rise in demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles, and this was once again the case in June with volumes up 70.9%. But that is from a very low base and they still account for just 7,110 registrations with petrol and diesel taking 49% and 48.2% respectively.
Fleet registrations continue to drive the growth, although registrations to private customers remain strong.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “It is still a great time to buy a new car in the UK, and it is encouraging to see more consumers choosing British models.
“This is important for the wider economy with 799,000 people now employed across the UK automotive sector, including retail. We anticipate a flatter second half of the year as the market finds its natural running rate.”
Commenting on the latest car registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, David Raistrick, UK Automotive Leader at Deloitte said, “This time last year, we saw an increase of more than 13,000 in new car sales in the UK compared to 2013.
“The fact that an additional 29,000 cars have been sold in June 2015, taking total new car sales for the month over 257,000, is further testament to the strength of the recovery in the UK economy. The new car market recovery, having been initially supported by the private consumer, is now being driven by the fleet sector. This is up 13.1% as business invests in the renewal of fleet stocks.
Wales top ten in June were:
1 Ford Fiesta
2 Vauxhall Corsa
3 Ford Focus
4 Ford Kuga
5 Fiat 500
6 Vauxhall Mokka
7 Dacia Sandero
8 Volkwagen Polo
9 Nissan Qashqai
10 Toyota Yaris.