UK car registrations this October surpassed last October by 1.4%, according to official industry figures.
More than one year on from the Volkswagen emissions scandal and four months after the UK’s vote to leave the European Union (EU), sales have continued to grow, with SMMT figures showing that 2,330,663 cars have been registered in total across 2016 so far, which is some 56,000 more than the same period last year.
Both diesel and private sale registrations have fallen though, suggesting that dieselgate may have taken its toll on the public’s confidence in diesels, as well as buying a car overall. UK manufacturers' prominence on mainstream news as they fought to forge a deal with the Government concerning Brexit may also have dented public confidence.
Diesel car registrations continued to fall, at 2.4% down on October of last year, while petrol climbed by almost 5%, and alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) grew by 12.4%, soaking up the lost diesel registrations as more and more manufacturers introduce such cars to their respective ranges.
So far in 2016, 75,987 AFVs have been registered; making this market almost as large in number as the private car market in October. This shows a 23% growth across the year, but demonstrates how far AFVs have to go before they overtake petrol and diesels.
Again, fleet registrations bolstered the market, growing by 4.2% to 96,440 across October, while private registrations and business registrations both fell.
Last month represented the third October in a row in which new car registrations had only small growth; October figures have remained at roughly the same level since 2013, despite the month coming just after the introduction of each year's new numberplate.
The Nissan Juke and Kia Sportage were the ninth and tenth best-selling cars in the UK in October, the first time this year they've appeared in the monthly top ten list. So far, October's top eight all also feature in the top ten best-selling cars of the year. The Audi A3 maintained its position as the tenth best-selling car of 2016, being the fifth best-seller in October, while the Ford Fiesta was comfortably ahead of the pack, having surpassed 100,000 registrations.
The UK's best-selling cars of 2016 are as follows:
Ford Fiesta - 103,945
Vauxhall Corsa - 68,831
Ford Focus - 61,233
Volkswagen Golf - 59,474
Nissan Qashqai - 55,238
Vauxhall Astra - 49,756
Volkswagen Polo - 47,161
Mini hatchback - 39,913
Mercedes-Benz C-Class - 37,918
Audi A3 - 37,521