The UK new car sales industry is currently booming, boasting an all time high in 10 years, thanks to a positive surge in economic reconstruction and a high demand for the all new 64-plate.
In September 2014, sales reached a whopping 425, 861, which is a 5.6% increase compared to last years final figures. That calculates to an extra 22,725 new vehicles on the road this September, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
If you think those numbers are impressive, the number of registrations for the year-to-date have reached 1,958,196, which is a staggering 9.1% increase in comparison to January – September 2013.
These ever-growing figures represent a 31st year of consecutive monthly increase. Which is hardly surprising, September is often the most popular and busiest month in terms of consumers shopping for a new car.
The chief executive of SMMT, Mike Hawkes, stated “September’s strong performance underlined the continuing robustness of the UK new car market, particularly in the context of last September’s bumper volumes.
“Demand for the new 64-plate has been boosted by intensifying confidence in the UK economy, with consumers attracted by a wide range of exciting, increasingly fuel-efficient, new cars.”
On the other hand, he also sent out a warning message in terms of the market going off the boil. “In the months since March – which saw an 18% jump in registrations – the growth has shown signs of levelling off as the market starts to find its natural running rate,” Mr Hawes said.
Which car models have sold most this year-to-date?
At the top of the list is the ever popular Ford Fiesta, topping the list so far having shifted 106,930 units so far, that’s almost a quarter of total car sales for the year!
Not forgetting the Ford Focus, which isn’t quite as popular amongst consumers as the Fiesta, but with a highly-respectable 67, 105 new registered cars on the road, I’m sure Bill Ford and his team will be over the moon.
Vauxhall have also seen an impressive amount of both the Corsa and Astra models, selling over 100,000 new cars combined. Volkswagen aren’t too far behind the British giants, having sold just over 95,000 units, which only accounts for the Golf and Polo models.
Which type of fuel is most popular?
(figures as of September 2014) Petrol and Diesel models are clearly the most popular, taking up the majority of the market share, and this has been consistently shown over the years.
211,801 of the cars sold so far this year run on petrol, 204,105 use diesel and the remaining 9,955 are AFV (Alternative Fuel Vehicles).
Although the statistics show that there are more Petrol based vehicles on the roads, Diesel has seen a 5.9% increase since last years figures, which is 2% better than that of Petrol. Petrol vehicles accounted for over half of the market share last year, but has dropped to just below at 49.7%.
Although many of us aren’t surprised by the low figure that alternative fuel vehicles holds, this part of the market has actually seen a drastic increase over the past 12 months. AFV’s have seen a 55.9% increase in new car sales, which is a positive sign for the likes of electric cars and hybrid vehicles.
What does the new 64-plate mean for potential buyers?
The release of these brand new registration plates is a chance for those who want to keep up with the latest car trends or who are currently active in the new car market, to purchase the latest models or grab themselves a bargain with an older model.
Many of the reputable car deals at this time will drop the prices of their outdated vehicles (in this instance, anything lower than and including the 63 plate) so as mentioned, for those who are more concerned about the price of the car rather than the model or specification, it’s a great time to be proactive as a consumer.
Since the introduction of the T-Plate in 1999, the registration plate format was amended from having just one new release each year (in August), to two. Currently, numberplates upgrade on the first of March and also September. So, what are the benefits of purchasing a 64-plate?
Well, as well as being able to show off the latest motor and registration to everyone, a more recent numberplate can benefit you if you decide to sell the car early after purchase (hopefully you won’t be in that situation).
Plus, if you’re one for customising your registration plate, the new 64-plate opens up a window of witty-lettering. Here are a few examples we’ve put together for your entertainment, and possible influence?
If you’d like to know more, you can refer to the Autotrader Complete Registration Guide for the finer details.
What effect has the plate change had?
With consumer demand rising year on year, March and September typically account for around a third of a year’s total car sales.
Take a look at the visuals below to gain further insight into the powerful effect of the reg-plate change, taken directly from the SMMT website.
The above chart simply clarify’s that March and September have been the most popular months in terms of the new car sales market, over the past 9 years.
The statistics below show the percentage change in new car sales year-on-year, and as you can see the results are quite varied.
The first quarter of the year tends to see the highest increase in new cars on the road, due to the release of the new reg-plates in March.
For even more statistics, visit the official SMMT website.