New car registrations for October showed a year-on-year rise of 2.6 per cent, according to the SMMT

New car registrations for October showed a year-on-year rise of 2.6 per cent, according to the latest figures issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

A total of 134,944 new cars were registered last month, compared to 131,495 in October 2010.

This was almost seven per cent ahead of the SMMT's forecast for the month, although sales remain almost 20 per cent lower than the pre-recession era of 2007.

Read Autocar's report on last month's car sales

Healthy sales of superminis buoyed the market. The supermini segment was up 17.4 per cent and the mini segment up 4.7 per cent.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: "October's rise was a positive result despite the uncertain economic climate. Vehicle manufacturers and their dealer networks are working hard to offer consumers value for money through improved fuel efficiency, low running costs and innovative finance. We expect market conditions to remain challenging."

Read Autocar's report on August's car sales

The Ford Fiesta remained the country's best-seller, amassing 7308 sales, with the Vauxhall Corsa deposing the Focus from second place.

The market is on course to achieve a full year total of 1.923 million new cars, but 2012 is expected to be a challenging year for UK sales.

Matt Burt

October's best sellers

1 Ford Fiesta, 7308 units2 Vauxhall Corsa, 63003 Ford Focus, 52034 Volkswagen Golf, 44005 Vauxhall Astra, 41596 BMW 3-series, 36647 Volkswagen Polo, 32898 Vauxhall Insignia, 29239 Nissan Qashqai, 278910 Honda Jazz, 2472

Our Verdict

Ford Fiesta
Fiestas sold in Europe are ostensibly the same as those sold in America and Asia

The seventh-generation Ford Fiesta is the UK's best selling car, helped by frugal engines, handling verve and a big car feel

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka