SMMT figures show that almost half a million new cars were sold in the UK last month, the highest number since 1999

Almost half a million new cars were sold in the UK last month, new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have revealed.

In total, 492,774 new cars were sold in March, the highest number since 1999 and up by 6% on the same period last year. Fleet buyers continue to drive growth, accounting for 44.5% of the last month's UK new car sales.

Sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles, including plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, also continue to rise, with 14,335 units sold in March - a rise of more than 60% on the same period in 2014.

The SMMT says the 37th consecutive month of growth is down to a continuing demand for newer, more fuel-efficient models and advanced technologies.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “The best month this century for new car registrations is a welcome boost for the UK’s thriving automotive sector. The challenge for a new government and industry will be to maintain this momentum and to strengthen Britain’s manufacturing capabilities through continued investment, innovation and policies which maintain our global competitiveness.”

UK’s best-selling cars in March 2015

1 - Ford Fiesta 27,034 units sold

2 - Vauxhall Corsa 19,391

3 - Ford Focus 15,442

4 - Nissan Qashqai 12,210

5 - Volkswagen Golf 11,871

6 - Volkswagen Polo 10,038

7 - Vauxhall Astra 9617

8 - Audi A3 9101

9 - Mercedes-Benz C-Class 8755

10 - Fiat 500 8662

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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

8 April 2015
Astra couldn't come sooner for Vauxhall. Just an observation.

8 April 2015
Even a very bad month for the Astra would be fantastic one for the Seat Leon, despite discounts I've never seen it in the UK top 10.
Annoying we can't see the whole list despite the data coming from a public body, DVLA. SMMT get the info from DVLA then charge certain bodies to see it. Anyone know if a freedom of information request would work??
It would solve a few arguments on this site.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

8 April 2015
xxxx wrote:

Even a very bad month for the Astra would be fantastic one for the Seat Leon, despite discounts I've never seen it in the UK top 10.
Annoying we can't see the whole list despite the data coming from a public body, DVLA. SMMT get the info from DVLA then charge certain bodies to see it. Anyone know if a freedom of information request would work??
It would solve a few arguments on this site.

SEAT is doing amazing in the UK these days. But as a previously 3rd division UK player, you surely can not realistically expect the Leon in the UK top ten? The 308 never makes it to the UK top ten never mind the Leon.

8 April 2015
Considering the Astra is being replaced this year, I'd say being the seventh best selling car is pretty darn good! I really like Vauxhall's design and the cars seem to be up to scratch so good for them.

8 April 2015
I assume that's a typo and should read March 2015.


8 April 2015
So weird how Nissan really hit the jackpot with the Quashqai in the UK..It's a brand that I wouldn't even think about.

Also, look how well the C class is doing..the days of the mass market repmobiles are truly over...A4/C CLass/3 series are now the reps cars...

If you want to stand out, you drive a Mondeo or a 508....funny how things work out...

3

8 April 2015
It would seem that the March plate change still garners a great deal of interest to the buying public. However, unless they get really great discounts to offset the costs, it makes no sense that a fleet would want to buy a new plate instead of getting a deal on remaining old plate models. Perhaps they order them before at the lower prices and only take delivery in March and September? Not being from the U.K. it just doesn't make sense any other way.

9 April 2015
id like to see figures for the 4 nations, certainly in Scotland i have seen lots of 15 plate Mokka's, maybe not so popular south of the border?

9 April 2015
Moparman - In the UK, the new plate triggers a decent rise in used car values - a car registered on March 1st 2015 (so a 15 plate) will make noticeably more in the used market in 2 or 3 years time than an identical one registered on February 28th (so a 64 plate), even though the latter is only 1 day older. As a result, many leasing and finance companies will discourage February deliveries, either through stronger residual values for March cars, or by allowing a free/reduced rate contract extension.

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