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.