New car sales hit five-year high

4th October 2013

The number of new cars being bought in the UK hit its highest level in more than five years in September, according to a new report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The data shows that September saw a market rise of 12.1 per cent to hit 403,136 registrations, which the SMMT said is largely down to the launch of the 63 plate.

It means that September 2013 was the best performing month since March 2008, and also represents the 19th consecutive month of increases in registrations.

According to the report, private registrations have risen by 16.7 per cent over the past 12 months, which has helped the overall overall market to increase by 10.8 per cent, while more than one in seven new cars registered in the month were UK-built.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said the UK market is reflecting "growing economic confidence", with robust private demand playing a major role in growth.

He added that customers are also attracted by "exciting, increasingly fuel-efficient" new models that offer savings in the cost of ownership – something highlighted in the study, which revealed that average 2013 new car CO2 car emissions are 128.6g per km, with average fuel economy at 55 mpg.

Mr Hawes concluded: "This is the 19th consecutive month of steady growth and, with fleet and business demand still to reach pre-recession levels, we believe the performance to be sustainable. The latest 63-plate should deliver positive results into next year."

It follows a report published by British Car Auctions last month, which revealed that the number of used cars being sold in the UK has now returned to pre-recession levels.

The figures outpaced new car sales by climbing 6.4 per cent and meant that the used car market has now reached a record high in terms of value, at £38.1 billion.