November figures ‘a significant milestone’ says Close Brothers Motor Finance

Commenting on the SMMT figures for November Chris Bosworth, director of strategy at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said: “[The] new registration figures from the SMMT indicates that the automotive sector is poised to end 2016 with record sales, with transactions for the year surpassing 2.5 million for the first time. This is a significant milestone, and proof that the sector has remained buoyant despite the uncertainty created by the vote for Brexit.

“Nevertheless, for the eighth month in a row we have seen a fall in private sales. This has been offset by continued and strong demand for business and fleet markets, which have shown significant year-on-year growth for November. As has been the prevailing trend for the last 12 months, consumers are flocking to the used-car sector, preferring financing and purchasing 1-3 year ‘nearly new stock’ over brand new vehicles. This growth in used-car transactions contrasts directly to the activity in the new private-sales market over the last year, causing the overall growth trajectory of new car registrations to steadily decline.

“With the business market likely to be impacted by the changes to salary sacrifice from April 2017 announced in the Autumn Statement, the private sales market will become increasingly important to overall registrations in the UK. Looking forward, it’s likely that new innovations – such as safety improvements, alternative fuels and models – released by manufacturers will be the main drivers in encouraging new cars purchases over used vehicles in 2017.”

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