Last month saw steady growth in the overall new car market of 2.5% in the UK, hitting its highest total for the month of May since 2002.
Fleet registrations, again, have driven the growth, providing an 8.8% rise in sales, which counterbalances a 3.0% fall in private registrations.
Society of Motoring, Manufacturing and Traders (SMMT) figures show that there was 12.1% increase in the purchase of alternatively fuelled vehicles in May. Diesel-powered vehicle sales also grew, by 5.0%, while petrol models declined slightly, by 0.6%.
The highest-selling car for May, and the best-selling car of the year so far, was the Ford Fiesta, with 52,476 sales in the UK so far in 2016. Despite the Volkswagen Golf being the second best selling vehicle for May, this year, Vauxhall’s Corsa model is the second best selling model of the year with 33,519 sales so far (the Corsa was the fourth best-selling model in May).
Ford’s Focus was also in the top three of the best-selling cars in May – while maintaining third spot for the year, despite suffering an overall drop in sales for 2016 compared with the same period last year (down from 144,095 to 140,948).
Citroën suffered the biggest year-on-year drop based on its 38,017 registrations for the year to May 2015 (31,776 sales for 2016), despite a month-on-month increase of 91 sales.
Overall sales for 2016 now sit at 1,164,870 registrations – 4.1% more than the same time last year.
The SMMT added that while growth is growth, May represents the second consecutive month of a sub 3% growth in registrations – something it says is evidence of increasing market stability.