New car registrations in the UK increased by 11.5 per cent in January compared to the same month in 2012
6 February 2013

The UK car market made a positive start to 2013, with new car registrations posting an 11.5 per cent rise compared to January of last year. The Ford Fiesta continued its reign as the nation's best-seller, followed by the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.

A total of 143,643 new cars were registered in January, assisted by a 15.9 per cent increase in private registrations during the month.

The encouraging start to the year has prompted industry organisation the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to revise its full-year forecast to show modest growth in 2013.

"The new car market has started the year confidently," said Mike Baunton, Interim Chief Executive of the SMMT.

"Lifted by a solid rise in private demand, the new car market posted its 11th successive month of growth with motorists attracted to forecourts by the latest models and competitive deals on offer," he elaborated. "Building on a strong performance in 2012, SMMT has increased its market forecast – we anticipate a modest rise over the year, followed by further growth in 2014."

The market for alternatively fuelled cars enjoyed a healthy increase, with registrations for electric vehicles and hybrids rising by 7.9 per cent year-on-year.

However, the overall market share remains very low, with alternatively fuelled vehicles now accounting for 1.6 per cent of the market, compared with 50.7 per cent for diesel and 47.7 per cent for petrol.

The UK's best-selling cars, January 2013

1 Ford Fiesta 7906 units

2 Ford Focus 5794

3 Vauxhall Astra 5462

4 Vauxhall Corsa 5178

5 Nissan Qashqai 4280

6 Volkswagen Golf 3335

7 Peugeot 208 2959

8 Volkswagen Polo 2885

9 Nissan Juke 2522

10 Mercedes C-class 2356

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
9

6 February 2013

Good gains for the 208 - Peugeot could do with some decent press! Nissan must be thrilled to have two of their cars in the top ten now too. Not that I'm surprised, can't seem to move for Qashqais and Jukes around here...

6 February 2013

I thought the 3 series BM would be up there in the top ten? The two Nissans are deinetly a surprise though.

6 February 2013

Will anyone buy a car when the "13" plate starts?

 

6 February 2013

R400 wrote:

Will anyone buy a car when the "13" plate starts?

 

I would. I live at number 13, in a house I made an offer for on the 13th of the month.

The C Class amazes me. I don't seem to see that many around, and it's ridiculously expensive. Do they really sell more of those than Vauxhall Insignias?

 

6 February 2013

androo wrote:

The C Class amazes me. I don't seem to see that many around, and it's ridiculously expensive. Do they really sell more of those than Vauxhall Insignias? 

I take it you don't live in the Greater London/south east? Stacks around this way! Cheap leasing is the reason. The Germans are very clever - they don't offer a blatant discount but do it more subtly by offering cheap leasing deals, the method by which nearly every car in this segment is bought.

6 February 2013

Lotus sold 4 cars in January; at that rate they will sell less than 50 cars in 2013

Infiniti didn't do much better and sold 16  (Lexus sold 537)

MG sold 31 cars and new entrant Dacia 294

Aston sold 100, more than Bentley 80

Porsche 444, nearly the same as Mitsubishi 478

 

 

 

6 February 2013

" alternatively fuelled cars enjoyed a healthy increase, with registrations for electric vehicles and hybrids rising by 7.9 per cent year-on-year."

It might be only 1.6% overall but with Ford, BMW and VW about to release electric cars this late this year or early next year it looks like year-on-year 7.9% and higher increases will continue.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

6 February 2013

What happened to the Mini and 3-Series? I'm sure they'll find their way back in the following months of the year. January is always a funny month for car sales.

Good to see new entrants Nissan Juke and Peugeot 208 in UK's top sellers - at least for a month. Sad to see my once favourite Polo has slipped so far down the chart.

7 February 2013

It's a pity that hybrids and electric cars are lumped together as alternatively fuelled cars, which presumably also includes any CNG or LPG models. My guess is that 99% of this catergory is made up of hybrids, but I'd like to know the real numbers.

 

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