Despite 31 months of consecutive growth and the introduction of 64-plate cars, the UK's new car market shows signs that its recovery is slowing down
Darren Moss
6 October 2014

The UK’s new car market has grown again in September, as the introduction of new 64-plate cars drove sales upwards for the 31st consecutive month.

A total of 425,861 cars were registered last month, resulting in the best September performance since 2004 – with the industry also up 5.6 per cent on August's results. Total registrations between January and September have now passed 1.9 million, up by over nine per cent on 2013.

However, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says that last month’s more moderate growth compared to earlier in the year shows the industry is starting to level off in its recovery.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Demand for the new 64-plate has been boosted by intensifying confidence in the UK economy, with consumers attracted by a wide range of exciting, increasingly fuel-efficient, new cars. 

“In the months since March – which saw an 18 per cent jump in registrations – the growth has shown signs of levelling off as the market starts to find its natural running rate.”

Sales of electric and alternatively-fuelled vehicles also continue to rise, with 9955 units registered last month. That’s up by over 55 per cent on the 6387 units registered in September 2013. Overall, alternatively-fuelled vehicles have accounted for 2.3 per cent of the market so far in 2014.

UK’s best-selling cars in September 2014

Ford Fiesta 23,266 units registered

Ford Focus 13,508

Volkswagen Golf 13,011

Vauxhall Corsa 12,506

Volkswagen Polo 10,312

Fiat 500 9122

Vauxhall Astra 8861

Audi A3 7317

Peugeot 208 6968

Nissan Qashqai 6847

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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

6 October 2014
I think it's about time that pure electric cars (including those with range extenders) were separated from hybrids in the alternative fuel category. I suspect that the 10,000 sales recorded last month are mostly hybrids but it would be interesting to learn just how many electric cars are being sold, and whether this sub sector is actually growing?
Otherwise it seems to be the usual suspects occupying the top 10, but the BMW 3-Series seems to have gone missing...

6 October 2014
Let's not lose sight of the FACT that the majority of 'buyers' are only hiring these cars that is an alarming 80 per cent of the total 'sales' figures.

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