Glass’s: UK car registrations ‘fantastic’

UK new car registration figures for December 2015 released by the SMMT show a remarkable 8.4 per cent increase on the same period last year and, when combined with the previous 11 months of data, reflect an overall market improvement of 6.3 percent for 2015 over 2014.

Rupert Pontin, head of valuations at Glass’s commented: “This is undoubtedly a fantastic achievement and one that Glass’s predicted a year ago at a time when others took a more conservative view, fearing a 2.6 million car market was neither achievable nor sustainable. However, a strong economy, solid consumer confidence and stable political backdrop have been key, as has pre-registration activity.”

Reviewing the detail shows some interesting trends with one of the most important being the state of the diesel market. Where some had looked to demonise diesel and predicted a strong market drop off, it is clear that while market share has fallen by 1.6 per cent from the 50.1 per cent per centrecorded in 2014, there has been no major dip despite VWgate and NOx concerns over older engines. Also, petrol market share has increased by 1 per cent as a result of improvements in engine technology as many had suggested. However, the 0.7 per cent increase in market share for alternative fuelled vehicles is mildly disappointing in some respects, despite the 40.3 per cent increase in registrations.

Pontin added: “Growth in the fleet sector has driven its share of registrations to 50.0 per cent of the market at the expense of private sales, which dropped to a 45.9 per cent share while business now holds 4.1 per cent. Interestingly, the latter will be in part because of the number of businesses now confident enough to change their ageing fleets but also due to the pre-registration position which supports the new car registration gains and are often recorded as fleet sales. This practice is already becoming an important part of the pressure being placed on used car values and will continue during 2016.”

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