Registrations of new cars in the UK returned to growth in November, following the first decline in 44 months in October, according to figures released by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
A total of 178,876 cars were registered in the month, an increase of 3.8% over November 2014, while the overall market in the first 11 months of 2015 has seen 6.2% growth to 2,453,426 units.
Demand for both petrol and diesel models remains robust with respective gains of 3.8% and 3.6%, while the popularity of alternatively fuelled vehicles continues to grow with an 8.6% uplift. Registrations to fleet buyers (up 8.7%) increased ahead of those to private customers (up 2%), continuing a trend that has been evident for several months.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “November’s figures come as a reminder of the strength of the UK car market, as low interest rates and competitive finance deals continue to attract consumers to new car ownership. We have been expecting a levelling-off in demand for some time now – a development that is being realised following an unprecedented three-and-a-half years of non-stop growth.”
Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers across the UK, said: “It is extremely encouraging to see that the new car market was up 3.8% in November following the first decline in 44 months last month.
“Growth in the business fleet market indicated continued confidence in the economy. Sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles were also up in the month which in the light of the recent emissions means that consumers are considering environmental issues at higher levels.
“Competitive pricing, continued low interest rates and strong finance incentives have driven new car sales in 2015, and the NFDA expects the market to remain strong into the New Year.”