posted 1 year ago

New UK Car Registrations Hit Record High

UK new car registrations hit record high in 2015. Plus top 10 best selling cars in UK and market trends.

UK Car Registrations For 2015

UK new car registrations hit a record high in the first half of 2015, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders revealed. 1,376,889 found homes – the highest half year figure on record – and 7% more than in the first 6 months of 2014. June 2015 was the 40th consecutive month of growth in the new car market. Sales were also 12.9% higher than the equivalent month the previous year. The Society explained that high sales can be attributed to a “wealth of new models featuring the latest technology” and “attractive” finance packages with low interest rates. Furthermore, 13.9% of drivers chose a British-built car which was the highest in 5 years.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, explained: "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). However, the new car market looks set to slow within the near future. Mr Hawes concluded: “We anticipate a flatter 2nd half of the year as the market finds its natural running rate."

UK Car Registrations By Fuel Type And Sector

New car registrations included petrol, diesel and alternatively fuelled models. Petrol cars were the most popular – by a thin margin – in the first half of 2015. 673,354 found homes which accounted for 48.9% of the market. Diesel registrations were 665,602 (48.3%). At the equivalent point last year diesel sales were slightly higher than petrol. Figures were 49.9% and 48.2%, respectively. Registrations of alternatively fuelled cars from January to June 2015 were 37,933 which totalled 2.8% of the market. This was a rise from 1.8% by June 2014. 2015 registrations were spearheaded by the fleet sector that claimed 685,184 vehicles and 49.8% market share. It was followed by the private sector with 637,051 units (46.3%). New business registrations were 54,654 (4%). 

UK Best Selling Cars Of 2015

The Ford Fiesta was the most popular new car in the first half of 2015. Registrations totalled 71,990. The top 10 also included the: Vauxhall Corsa (50,125), Ford Focus (45,078), Volkswagen Golf (38,261), Nissan Qashqai (34,501), Vauxhall Astra (29,966), Volkswagen Polo (28,980), Audi A3 (25,765), Mercedes-Benz C-Class (24,676) and the MINI (23,455). It is noteworthy that the top 10 was dominated by traditional – and relatively low cost - supermini and small family class vehicles. This suggests that low acquisition costs, low running costs and practicality are the key strengths motorists favour. The C-Class was the only executive class vehicle.