Last month's switchover to the 63 plate has boosted the UK's new car registration figures to levels not seen since 2008
Matt Burt
4 October 2013

Monthly new car registration figures hit a five-year high in September as the 63-plate registration change gave the UK market a substantial boost.

A total of 403,136 new cars were registered last month, which represents a rise of 12.1 per cent compared to the same month in 2012.

That makes September 2013 the best-performing month since March 2008 in terms of overall volume. It is the first time in more than five years that more than 400,000 new cars have been registered in a single month.

Increases in private registrations are underpinning the industry’s recovery. The growth reflects buyers coming back to the market after a period of postponing their new car purchases. With running costs becoming ever-more important for motorists, cars equipped with more frugal engines are selling in increasing numbers.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, is confident that the overall growth is sustainable, particularly because the fleet and business sectors are also showing signs of recovery.

“This is the 19th consecutive month of steady growth and, with fleet and business demand still to reach pre-recession levels, we believe the performance to be sustainable. The latest 63-plate should deliver success into next year,” he said.

Petrol is also edging diesel as the UK market’s most popular fuel choice again. So far this year, petrol cars have accounted for 49.6 per cent of the market, with oilburners at 49 per cent. However, at the same point last year diesel cars had a 50.4 per cent market share while petrols only had 48.2 per cent.

The alternatively fuelled vehicle market share is remaining constant year-on-year, with a 1.4 per cent share.

The Ford Fiesta maintained its now-customary position as the UK’s best-selling car, with 20,629 examples registered during September.

UK’s best-selling cars for September 2013

1 Ford Fiesta 20,629 units

2 Vauxhall Corsa 14,464

3 Ford Focus 14,295

4 Volkswagen Golf 12,265

5 Vauxhall Astra 11,014

6 BMW 1-series 10,084

7 BMW 3-series 8309

8 Peugeot 208 7953

9 Nissan Qashqai 7771

10 Fiat 500 7422

 

 

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
17

4 October 2013

If the top 10 accounted for 110,000'ish then how the hell did the remainder manage to sell 290,000 units??

Love to see the full list but the SMMT keep it private unless you pay for it. Freedom of information Act anyone?

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

4 October 2013

Well I was one of them, back to buying a car after years of leasing.

A beautiful Alfa Giulietta 1.4 Multiair, made me realise just how much I've missed petrol cars, strong performance and 42+ mpg. Fantastic to drive and it's a car that makes you love cars again.

4 October 2013
xxxx - the full list by manufacturer (but not broken down into models) is freely available from the SMMT's website and always makes for interesting reading... MB

4 October 2013
Matt Burt wrote:

xxxx - the full list by manufacturer (but not broken down into models) is freely available from the SMMT's website and always makes for interesting reading... MB

Yep but it's the model breakdown I'm after and as the information is collected by the DVLA I don't see why I should have to pay SMMT to see it.

It'll certainly solve a few arguments on this forumn!

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

4 October 2013

This should help bring prices back down for the 'nearly new' car market as supply starts to work through...

4 October 2013

Surprised not to see Clio in top 10. Can't recall seeing a single new Fiat 500 in the past month but there's an abundance of new Clio's.

Good to see Corsa still in there despite it's age. Certainly can't compete any longer on aesthetics nor does it have the most modern of engines, but it's pretty near perfect for the market it's aimed at. If they could just get under 120g/km for their petrols, the Corsa could easily go on for many more years without much change.

4 October 2013

VW Polo has bowed out of the UK best seller list?
VW did little to stop the Polo's sliding sales in UK.
Perhaps there isn't sufficient profit margin in Polo.

Those who still buy Polo are most likely the elderly who aren't aware how far rivals have come; or die-hard fan-boys who still subscribe to the myth of Volkswagen's perceived reliability and quality.

4 October 2013

Fadyady makes a valid point, I reckon VW have abandoned the Polo. From someone who owns a Golf and was recently in the market for a supermini as a 2nd car, nobody could better the Polo for quality. Prices aren't that high either so what's not to like? Inefficient, dirty petrol engines for one and ultra meagre equipment level right across the range. Only engine I'd have considered was the 1.2 Tsi which is only available in top SEL spec.

VW's own UP must have taken sales away from the Polo. Too small for me, but I can see why it's all the car many potential Polo owners need.

4 October 2013
fadyady wrote:

VW Polo has bowed out of the UK best seller list?

I noticed exactly the same thing. The Polo usually delivers consistently, appearing in the middle of the table. It seems odd for it to have completely dropped off the bottom.

Apart from that, there's nothing too spectacular about the top ten, although the 500's by no means a regular. I wonder if 500L sales are being attributed towards the 500. I very much doubt it, but it seems odd that 500 sales have picked up in the last couple of months.

4 October 2013
scotty5 wrote:

...Prices aren't that high either so what's not to like? Inefficient, dirty petrol engines for one and ultra meagre equipment level right across the range.

I agree its not a bad car for the money and its the relatively dirty engines and miserly equipment levels across the range that let it down in this competitive segment.

Motormouths wrote:

The Polo usually delivers consistently, appearing in the middle of the table. It seems odd for it to have completely dropped off the bottom.

I noticed Polo's slide from the middle of the table towards the bottom last year and pointed it out in my comments and got told off by VW zealots who can't take criticism.

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