A total of 2,264,737 cars were registered in 2013 – more than the 2.25 million forecast and up 10.8 per cent on 2012

The UK car market has exceeded expectations for the year, with a total of 2.265 million cars being registered compared to a forecasted 2.25 million.

"With its best year since a pre-recession 2007, the UK new car market has helped stimulate the country's economic recovery,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

December marked the 22nd consecutive monthly rise in new car sales, while 2013 resulted in the highest annual total number of registrations since 2007.

“While the European market is only now showing signs of improvement, the UK has consistently outperformed the rest of Europe with 22 consecutive months of growth. The 10.8 per cent increase in 2013 reflects the attractive financial offers available, as well as increased demand for more technologically advanced new cars."

The market share for diesel fell slightly, from 50.8 per cent in 2012 to 49.8 per cent in 2013, as petrol alternatives continued to become more efficient. Consequently the market share for petrol-engined cars grew from 47.8 per cent in 2012 to 48.8 per cent in 2013.

Alternatively fuelled vehicles, including electric cars, remained static with regards to market share, however, at 1.4 per cent.

According to the statistics, an additional 600 cars were reputedly registered per day in 2013, compared to 2012.

Read more about the UK car market in 2013

December proved a particularly successful month for Audi, with its sales growing from 4786 cars in December 2012 to 7442 in December 2013, a rise of 55.5 per cent. Renault performed well too, with its sales climbing by 43.91 per cent from 3733 cars to 5372.

Success was also seen by Skoda, its sales escalating from 3199 cars in December last year to 5286 cars this year, a hike of 65.24 per cent. Volkswagen noted significant increases in sales in December too, up from 9,651 registrations to 13,725 - a leap of 42.21 per cent.

Year-on-year, manufacturers that have performed particularly well include Lotus, selling 256 cars compared to 137, a rise of 86.86 per cent.

The SMMT currently expects new car registrations to remain level in 2014, due to buyers returning to more conventional and regular renewal intervals for their car, although a growth of 1 per cent over the year is forecast.

UK's best-selling cars in 2013

1. Ford Fiesta 121,929

2. Ford Focus 87,350

3. Vauxhall Corsa 84,275

4. Vauxhall Astra 68,070

5. Volkswagen Golf 64,951

6. Nissan Qashqai 50,211

7. BMW 3-series 43,494

8. Volkswagen Polo 42,609

9. BMW 1-series 41,883

10. Peugeot 208 38,616

UK's best-selling cars in December 2013

1. Ford Fiesta 8512

2. Vauxhall Corsa 6414

3. Ford Focus 5559

4. Vauxhall Astra 5235

5. Volkswagen Golf 4520

6. Vauxhall Insignia 3956

7. BMW 3-series 3429

8. Volkswagen Polo 3429

9. BMW 1-series 2679

10. Nissan Qashqai 2516

Find out more about the state of the 2013 car market here.

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

Join the debate

Comments
2

7 January 2014
Always good to see the Diesel market dropping. Bad to see alternative fuel sales not growing, although are petrol plug-in hybrids classed as petrol or alternative.
Anyhow I'm sure sales will improve with the E-Golf, E-A3, i3, i3 range extender coming on song this year

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

7 January 2014
Judging by the comments on here very few people rate the Focus, so I can never understand why it keeps outselling the Astra, particularly in view of the across the range price cuts on the latter.
There are some really good 0% finance deals being offered on the Adam at the moment, so maybe we'll see that creeping into the bottom of the table soon?

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