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New Car Registrations Still Rising

By raccars Published

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The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has released its monthly report on new car registrations for July, showing the new car market increasing once again, for the 41st consecutive month. New car sales were up by 3.2% last month compared to July 2014.

178,420 new car registrations were recorded in July, taking the year to date figures to 1,555,309 or 6.5% higher than the same period last year. The supermini, small family car and SUV segments experienced the greatest volume increases, continuing a ten year trend which has seen the supermini market grow by 22.7% since 2005. Dual purpose vehicles, which means SUVs and crossovers, exploded by 88.5% over the same period.

The alternative fuels market continued its steady march, recording year on year growth of 31% for 4,314 sales in July. The UK is leading Europe in AFV (alternative fuel vehicle) sector growth. While Europe-wide AFV sales were up by 17.4% in the second quarter of the year, AFV sales in the UK were up by 62.4% for the same period. Chancellor George Osborne's changes to VED ratings in the summer budget could affect AFV sales in the UK, as new car buyers rush to take advantage of favourable road tax prices before and after the new regulations take effect in 2017.

While sales reached record levels for the first half of 2015, July figures showed the market gently stabilising, but consumer confidence continues high and buyers are likely to continue to be tempted by generous finance arrangements. Industry analysts believe that the strong pound will continue to attract investment by manufacturers, but as the continental European market finally starts its recovery, new car sales in the UK will be more subdued as the year plays out.

The Ford Fiesta, of course, retains its crown as the best-selling model in the UK, with unit sales of 8,504 in July, followed by its larger stablemate, the Ford Focus, on 7,044 sales. The Vauxhall Corsa is in its familiar third place but quite far behind the leaders with sales of 4,886 units, with the VW Golf snapping at its heels in July with 4,880 units shifted. The Nissan Qashqai continues to impress, in fifth place with 3,789 unit sales, the Audi A3 is sixth on 3,731, followed by the Volkswagen Polo with 3,620. The Vauxhall Astra sold 3,187 units for ninth place and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class rounds out the top ten with 2,868 unit sales.

The Ford Fiesta is the year to date bestseller, with the Vauxhall Corsa next and the Ford Focus third.

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