After numerous months of continuous growth, UK car registration numbers grew by just 0.1% in July, suggesting a cooling in the market

Growth in UK car registrations is slowing, according to official figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 

The total number of new cars registered in July was 178,523, which is only fractionally more than the total for June. 

However, that's still a small increase over July 2015, and the year-to-date total is higher than that for 2015 by 2.8%, with almost 1.6million cars sold so far this year. 

Fleet sales once again outstripped private sales by a small margin in July; they account for 51.1% of new registrations, compared with 45.1% private registrations and 3.8% business. 

Diesel sales fell by 1.1% compared with July 2015, although demand for diesels for the year so far has risen by 1.9%, with more than 15,000 more diesels registered in 2016. Petrol car registrations were almost identical to July of last year, with only 14 more petrol-powered cars registered in July 2016; on the whole, though, they’ve increased by 2.7%. 

Registrations of alternatively-fuelledd vehicles (AFVs) have risen considerably: in July more than 1000 additional AFVs were registered compared with the same month in 2015. Due to AFVs’ relatively small market share of 2.4% though, the total number of AVS registered in 2016 so far is still only 51,394. 

The Ford Fiesta remains the best-selling car in the UK by quite a margin, with 7,990 registered in July, and 71,823 since the start of the year. 

The UK's 10 most popular new cars of 2016 are as follows: 

Ford Fiesta 71,823

Vauxhall Corsa 47,962

Ford Focus 43,626

Volkswagen Golf 42,096

Nissan Qashqai 38,183

Vauxhall Astra 33,345

Volkswagen Polo 32,112

Mini 26,533

Vauxhall Mokka 25,783

Mercedes-Benz C-Class 25,084

Citröen’s falling market share continued in July, with a 21.56% decrease compared with July 2015. Across the same period, Fiat, Ssangyong and Mitsubishi’s market shares fell by around a quarter, and Porsche’s fell by 45%. Porsche’s year-to-date market share is bolstered by previous months’ successes, and has fallen by just 0.28%, while Fiat’s fell by 1.44%. 

Renault endured a disappointing July; its market share fell by 31% compared with July 2015, although across the year so far its sales have grown by 14% to just over 3% of the total market. 

The largest decrease was that of Lotus, which sold just one car in July, compared with the 39 sold in July 2015. In 2016 so far, Lotus has sold 141 cars. 

The growing manufacturers were almost exclusively smaller-volume brands, with Infiniti taking the largest upswing in market share, having grown by 191% to 0.22%. Mercedes-Benz continued its growth, however, with 15% growth over last July, and 18% year-to-date growth. Its market share is now 6.27%, having sold over 100,000 cars; in the same period last year it held 5.46% of the UK car market.

Land Rover also grew considerably; its market share in July 2016 grew by 73% compared with the same month last year, going from a market share of 1.58% to 2.73%. 

The SMMT didn’t mention Brexit when reflecting upon the cooled growth, but called on the government to “deliver the economic conditions which instill business and consumer confidence.”

Read more:

Get August's UK registration figures here

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

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Comments
4

4 August 2016
Britain's exit from EU will contribute to pushing the car sales down for now at least. May not be music to the car makers and dealers but the market needs a little cooling off from proxy and hire sales.

4 August 2016
A small improvement on 2015, a record year, shows continued strong performance in the UK car market.

4 August 2016
Good on you Land Rover, +73% month on month. Patriotic fervour after the Brexit vote?

289

4 August 2016
....please Jimi, if you are going to report industry figures on Autocar's site, at least read the press release properly before you publish.
Not least that I have pointed this out once this year already...clearly you don't listen to your readers!

Citroen is NOT down 21%....they are reporting DS and Citroen separately as of this year....therefore you need to add the two together if you wish to draw parallels with 2015.
This was clearly reported in all the trade mags.
I have no allegiance to Citroen, in fact I think they are French crap, but they do deserve to be reported correctly by Auto publishers.

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