The ongoing resurgence in the new car market continues into 2014, with sales up 7.6 per cent compared to January 2013

The new car market is continuing its upward trend with yet another month of growth, reflecting increasing consumer confidence.

"2013 ended on a high, so it is encouraging to see the January market start the year strongly, rising 7.6 per cent year-on-year," said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which collates the UK figures.

A total of 154,562 cars were registered last month, compared to 143,643 in January 2014.

Notably, the number of alternatively fuelled vehicles registered, including electric cars, rose by 25 per cent year-on-year – from 2287 cars to 2859. Alternatively fuelled vehicles account for less than two per cent of the total new car market, compared to over 51 per cent for diesel powered vehicles and almost 48 per cent for petrol.

"As fuel economy is a major consideration for many motorists, ongoing investment by vehicle manufacturers in innovative, fuel-efficient technology is a key factor in the growing demand for new cars," said Hawes.

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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Read more about the UK car market in 2013

Manufacturers that performed particularly well in January included Bentley, which almost doubled its sales of 80 vehicles in January 2013 to 155 in in January 2014.

Dacia's success continued too, with its growing presence boosting sales from 294 to 1373 – a hike of 367 per cent, althugh January 2013 was its first month for registrations and most of its models are built to roder.

MG sold 138 cars in January compared to 31 last year, bolstered by the recent launch of the MG 3.

Infiniti, Jeep, Maserati, Lotus and SsangYong also experienced noticeable improvements in monthly sales compared to last year.

Hawes added: "Looking ahead, the UK automotive industry expects to see moderate, sustainable growth in 2014."

The UK car market exceeded a total of 2.265 million registrations in 2013, ahead of a forecasted 2.25 million.

UK's best-selling cars in January 2014

1. Ford Fiesta 9072 cars registered

2. Ford Focus 5333

3. Vauxhall Corsa 4470

4. Volkswagen Golf 4390

5. Volkswagen Polo 3875

6. Vauxhall Astra 3399

7. Audi A3 3130

8. Nissan Qashqai 3028

9. Nissan Juke 2704

10. Fiat 500 2595

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Comments
3

6 February 2014
Doesn't mean that they're all sold though. For example the MGs might all be demonstrators...
Also I think that hybrids should not be included in the "alternative fuel" class, since these should properly be regarded as petrol fuelled with a bit of added efficiency. Exclude hybrids and the alternative fuel class is really shown up as being virtually non existent.

6 February 2014
Unbelievable performance from the fiesta which by my reckoning is now in its 7th year of production. Still looking fresh and just goes to show what a great car can achieve.

Also, great to see the electric/ hybrid going great guns, especially as 2014 will see an even bigger increase with the i3’s, Electric/hybrid Golf, A3 etc. being brought out later this year. Whatever happened to those plug-in haters?

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

8 February 2014
I've had two visits to a Ford dealership this week and, in common with the branch I use for servicing, there are loads of 63 plate, pre-reg Fiestas sitting in the used car section. This does seem to be the norm, whatever the franchise, presumably to satisfy those drivers who want a new-to-them car but appreciate that pre-reg can attract a better discount. Oh, and on the way there I saw a Vauxhall Ampera actually on the road! Now all I need to see is an MG3, but I'm not building up my hopes!

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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

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week