UK New Car Sales Rise in September
Sales of new cars in the UK rose in September, helped by strong purchases from fleet buyers and the new 66 number plate. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said 469,696 new cars were registered in the month, a rise of 1.6% from 462,517 last year.
That was the highest sales figure for September on record. The most popular new car in September was the Ford Fiesta, followed by the Vauxhall Corsa and VW Golf.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “September is always one of the biggest months for Britain’s new car market. The new 66-plate, combined with a diverse range of exciting new models featuring the latest technology, has certainly helped draw buyers into showrooms.”
According to the SMMT, fleet sales continued to drive growth, climbing 7.3% year on year, but registrations to private motorists slipped by 1.7%.
The total number of cars registered so far this year has now reached 2.15 million.
The growth in registrations of alternatively fuelled vehicles continued to outpace the market, up 32.6% year on year, although their market share remained small at 3.4%.
Mr Hawes said that despite the overall growth the car industry continued to face uncertainty. “Business and consumers place September orders many months in advance,” he said. “So the ability of the market to maintain this record level of demand will depend on the ability of government to overcome political uncertainty and safeguard the conditions that underpin consumer appetite.”
In September, Mr Hawes warned that the success of the UK motor industry could be “jeopardised” if the UK left the single market following Brexit.