‘Modest growth’ in October car registrations

The UK new car market experienced modest growth in October following a bumper plate-change month in September, according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. 180,168 cars were driven off the UK’s forecourts last month as registrations grew 1.4 per cent.

Fleet registrations drove the growth, with demand rising 4.2 per cent, while registrations to private buyers fell by 1.1 per cent as the market, currently at an all-time high, stabilises after a lengthy period of growth.

Alternatively-fuelled vehicles continued to grow in popularity, rising 12.4 per cent in October and 23.3 per cent in the year so far to 75,987 registrations – the highest ever level achieved in the first 10 months of the year. Year-to-date performance for the overall market remains ahead by 2.5 per cent, with 2,330,663 new cars registered.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “September’s number plate change is always a hard act to follow so the market’s growth in October, albeit moderate, is welcome news. Low interest rates, affordable finance packages and a range of exciting new models helped attract buyers into showrooms and we now look to government to ensure consumer and business confidence remains buoyant.”

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