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UK Car Sales Rocket: 10 Year High

April 8, 2014

Earlier this month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) released figures showing that UK car sales have skyrocketed – welcome news for an industry that was badly hit throughout the recession. The data shows that March this year has seen more new car registrations than any other month in the past 10 years. Year on year figures show that this year’s sales were up 17.7% from March 2013 – with 464,000 new registrations recorded in March 2014. The introduction of the new 14 registration plate has boosted sales considerably – the twice annual plate change in September and March accounts for a third of annual new car sales.

New Car

Looking back a decade, there have been some significant shifts in the auto industry since 2004. These may be a reflection of the tough economic climate in the UK over recent years. Sales data shows there has been an increase in demand for small city cars, MPVs and crossover vehicles such as the Nissan Qashqai. Increases in fuel prices and a stronger emphasis on environmentally friendly living has seen fuel economy increase on average by 35%. The average mpg figure for cars registered in March 2014 stands at 57.2 mpg. CO2 emissions are also down by 26% – proof that heavy investment in green technology over the past decade has paid off – new cars are more fuel efficient than ever, dramatically reducing their environmental impact.

Fuel efficient cars have also seen success – sales of hybrid and electric vehicles in particular have seen a dramatic increase this year – so it seems these vehicles are finally catching up with the masses. Compared to 2013’s figures, sales of new alternatively fuelled vehicles are up 63.8%. These figures are expected to continue to increase, with many mainstream automakers launching hybrid and electric vehicles such as the BMW i3 and VW e-Golf. As technology improves, these types are vehicles are becoming a much more viable option – especially for city dwellers or those who want a second car for short journeys.

Nissan Sunderland Factory

Ford have been dominating new car sales in the UK, with the Fiesta winning “Car of the Year” for another year in a row – so it’s unsurprising that Ford have come out on the top of the pile. The SMMT revealed that a staggering 25,700 new Ford Fiestas were registered in March 2014 – making it the most popular car in the UK today. In second place is the Ford Focus, with 16,800 new vehicles registered. Other notable cars featuring record sales in March included the hugely popular VW Polo, Nissan Qashqai, Fiat 500 and BMW 3 series.

If you fancy getting your hands on a new or used motor, now is a great time to start looking. With the release of new registrations in March, there are tons of great deals to be found on pre-registered cars. Looking for car finance? The Car Loan Warehouse are specialists in financing, working with dealers and lenders to find you a great deal – regardless of your credit score. Already got a vehicle in mind? Use our car finance calculator to see how much you could save.

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.