The Ford Fiesta continued its dominance at the top of the UK new car registrations chart as the domestic market started 2016 with its best January performance in 11 years.
New car registrations increased by 2.9% last month compared with the same month in 2015, with a total of 168,678 cars registered during the month. That’s the highest total for January since 2005, when 181,474 cars were registered.
A total of 8353 new Fiestas were registered, eclipsing the second-placed Nissan Qashqai by 3514 units.
The market growth was fuelled by an increase in registrations of private cars, which enjoyed an 8.2% year-on-year rise. The total of 73,061 was the highest number of new cars registered to private buyers in January for 12 years.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “January’s solid performance puts the new car sector in a good position to start the year. Providing consumer confidence remains strong, we expect a more stable 12 months ahead, broadly similar to 2015 which was, of course, a record year.”
Alternatively fuelled vehicles continued to follow the recent trend of growing in popularity, with registrations up by 32.1% compared with January 2015. Hybrids and EVs commanded 3.6% of the total new car market, an increase of 0.8% over this time last year.
Diesel remained the most popular fuel type among buyers, but only by the slenderest of margins. A total of 82,311 oil burners were registered during the month, compared with 81,292 petrol-powered cars.
New car registrations for January 2016
1 Ford Fiesta 8353 units