The UK new car market has grown for the fourth month in succession, and is continuing to surpass industry expectations

The UK’s new car market continued its positive 2012 by recording a 3.5 per cent rise in June compared to the same month last year.

A total of 189,514 new cars were registered last month, the fourth successive month that the new car market has shown a year-on-year increase. In June 2011, the total was 183,125.

The amount of new cars registered in 2012 has now broken through the one million mark, with the total of 1,057,680 surpassing industry expectations.

"Driven by demand from private buyers, June new car registrations grew 3.5 per cent to push 2012 half-year volumes through the one million mark," said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.

"Despite domestic and international economic concerns, UK motorists are responding positively to new products and the latest fuel-efficient technology. The industry has performed better than expected in the first half of the year and we will now need to work hard to sustain growth."

Sales of diesel-powered cars were seven per cent higher last month compared to June 2011, while petrol-engined cars recorded a 0.9 per cent year-on-year decrease.

The alternatively fuelled car sector enjoyed a 47.8 per cent year-on-year rise in sales, with 2481 sold in June compared to 1679 the previous year, although this still represents only 1.3 per cent of the total new car market.

After being usurped by the Vauxhall Corsa as the UK’s best-selling car last month, the Ford Fiesta regained top spot in June, with 9063 sold.

UK’s best-selling cars, June 2012

1 Ford Fiesta 9063 units sold

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

2 Vauxhall Corsa 8800

3 Ford Focus 6937

4 Volkswagen Golf 6311

5 BMW 3-series 5830

6 Vauxhall Astra 5472

7 Mini 4807

8 Nissan Qashqai 4775

9 Volkswagen Polo 3378

10 Fiat 500 3324

Join the debate


5 July 2012

 The Ford Fiesta looks great, and quite good value too.

5 July 2012

Interesting that SMMT interprets the figures in this way. My understanding is that the recent sales figures have been kept up by fleet sales. If private sales are beginning to rebound that seems like a good thing for the economy.

5 July 2012

This is good news for the industry, though I seem to remember reading that a high proportion of these private sales were on finance schemes.

Surprised to see MINI back in the top 10, and that the 500 has slipped below it after last months figures.


5 July 2012

Good news indeed. Though it seems the latest Focus doesn't have the same connection with buyers that the Mk1 Focus did - that was always at the top, a role which has now been filled by the Fiesta for the past few years.

If this rise in sales continues, it would be good to see the return of the British Motorshow - remember, the SMMT said it could still return but only if things improved. One can only hope.

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

5 July 2012

Does the entire Mini range count as one model? Or is that just the Mini Hatchback figure?

VW Golf doing well considering it's on run out with a new model due soon.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week