The recovering new car market received a massive boost in the all-important September plate-change with year-on-year sales up 12% to 403,136 units, the highest monthly figure in five years.
Demand for the new 63-plate pushed the year to date market up by 10.8% to 1.8 million registrations. September registrations outstripped the March plate-change, traditionally the biggest sales month of the year, making it the biggest sales period since March 2008, when the market was boosted by the government-backed Scrappage Scheme.
Private registrations, helped by manufacturer-backed low interest PCP schemes, once again led the market accounting for 51.8% of all registrations. Private registrations have now risen by 16.7% in the year-to-date.
The recovering fleet market also saw further improvements in September with registrations up 5.4% to take a 42.3% market share. Year-to-date fleet is now tracking at 4.8% ahead of 2012.
"The September new car registrations figure was the highest monthly total since March 2008. With over 400,000 new cars registered for the first time in more than five years, the UK market is reflecting growing economic confidence," said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive.
"Robust private demand has played a major role in this growth with customers attracted by exciting, increasingly fuel-efficient new models that offer savings in the cost of ownership. This is the 19th consecutive month of steady growth and, with fleet and business demand still to reach pre-recession levels, we believe the performance to be sustainable. The latest 63-plate should deliver positive results into next year."
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