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UK Car Sales Are Their Highest Since 2007 – and Here’s Why

January 9, 2014

The SMMT (The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) have reported that new car sales in the UK were at their highest in 6 years when they looked in December – and this is the 22nd consecutive monthly rise. Figures show that 2.26 million new vehicles were registered in 2013, a 10.8% increase from the previous year.

UK and EU27 new car registrations – rolling year total December 2007 to date:

Source: SMMT

The Reason

On a larger scale, the slow but steady recovery following our economic recession has seen an increase in spending and more lending options becoming available, as government bailouts and schemes have convinced lenders to start paying out again – with our financial markets start returning to their pre-recession state.

In no way does that mean it’s easier to get finance – lenders are being far more thorough, with more comprehensive checks and risk assessments of potential customers. This has led to a far greater availability of finance to some, but has also caused problems for people with a bad credit rating. The Car Loan Warehouse is proud to say that we treat every applicant as an individual, and can offer finance to applicants from all backgrounds – so if you’ve been refused finance elsewhere, why not check out our loan calculator to see if you’d be eligible?

On an individual level, people have seen their budgets widen somewhat, and are able to find competitive car finance rates – something which was hard to find during the recession, when banks weren’t lending. But deals such as personal contract purchases (PCPs) – which allow people to purchase a new or nearly new car for a low monthly repayment cost – are boosting the availability of car credit and allowing the car market to flourish. With over 75% of all new car sales in 2013 involving a finance deal, there is an obvious positive influence on car sales by the ever changing car finance market.

Registrations in Europe, January-November 2013 and 2012:

Source: ACEA

As well as these changes in the lending industry, recent economic data suggests growing confidence from customers, with banks and lenders starting to return to their existing trustworthy reputation before the banking crisis. Analysts have also suggested that nationwide refunds for mis-sold personal protection insurance (PPI) are giving households a boost in disposable income, with average sales being about £3000 – more than enough for a new car and a fresh coat of paint around the house. And by looking at these statistics, we have to agree – this cash injection to a lot of UK homes has been a welcome saviour to the UK car sale industry.

According to these numbers, assuming they’re correct, the UK is now Europe’s second largest car market after Germany – pushing France into third place – and was the only market to grow consistently throughout 2013.
This is great news for the automotive industry, and growth is predicted to level out over the coming year to a steady 1%.

 

If you’re thinking about buying a new car, or wondering about the finance packages available to you, be sure to head over to thecarloanwarehouse.com for more information on our full range of options – available to suit you, whatever your circumstances.

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.