New car sales reach an all-time high

6th October 2015


September saw the highest number of new car sales on record.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that 462,517 new cars were registered last month – a rise of 8.6% on the same month last year.

Analysts will be watching closely to see whether next month’s figures are affected by the dent to public confidence in the motor industry following the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal.

New number plates are introduced in September, which means it is typically one of the busiest months for car purchases.

The total number of cars registered in 2015 so far is 2,096,886 – 7.1% higher than at the same point last year. It is the first time that the two million mark has been passed in September since 2004.

Gains were made across all market sectors – private, fleet and business – while petrol, diesel and alternatively-fuelled vehicles all saw increased demand. In line with typical performance so far this year, registrations of diesel and petrol cars in September grew 4.1% and 12.3% respectively, and alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) recorded another strong month with volumes up 21.7%. This puts total year-to-date growth at 3.1% for diesel, 9.5% for petrol and 48.7% for AFVs.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “September is traditionally one of the year’s biggest months for new car registrations, and last month set an autumn record. With plenty of attractive, affordable deals available on the new 65-plate, Britain’s car buyers – whether private, fleet or business consumers – were busier than ever. The market reached pre-recession levels some time ago, and we anticipate some levelling off in the coming months. It is too early to draw conclusions, but customer demand for diesel remained strong, accounting for one in two cars registered.”

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