Car registrations level off after 43 months of growth

1 per cent decline in October car registrations leaves market up 6% year-to-date

The latest car registration figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that the market is levelling off, after a 1 per cent drop in October 2015 figures. 177,664 new cars were registered in the month, down 1.1 per cent on last year’s figure, following 43 consecutive months of growth.

However it is too early to call this a dip as year-to-date figures – 2,274,550 cars have been registered so far this year – are still 6.4 per cent up on this time in 2014, and the best year-to-date performance on record.

Diesel and petrol market shares remained stable, while the demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) continues to show positive growth. October AFV volumes were up by 13.8 per cent, reaching 3 per cent of the total market for the first time, as more consumers switch to an ever more diverse range of ultra-low emission vehicles. The high-value market segments saw the biggest gains, with specialist sports and luxury saloon vehicle registrations growing 59 per cent and 23.1 per cent respectively.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The UK car market has gone through a period of unprecedented growth and, so far, 2015 has been a bumper year with the strongest performance since the recession. As expected, demand has now begun to level off but the sector is in a strong position, as low interest rates, consumer confidence and exciting new products combine to attract new car buyers. The current full-year growth forecast remains on track.”

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