September started with the introduction of the new 65-plate registration and ended with a record-breaking volume of new car sales.
Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show 462,517 cars were registered in the UK, an increase of 8.6% on the same month in 2014 and the highest September total on record. Sales passed the two million mark as well, which hadn’t happened in September since 2004. The year-to-date total currently stands at 2,096,886.
Demand continues to grow among all types of buyer. Private sales in September were up 3.0% against the same month last year; fleet sales grew 15.2% and business sales were up 10.6%. Curiously, year-to-date business sales are actually down, but private and fleet sales continue to show strong growth.
Likewise, demand for diesel, petrol and alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) are growing. Diesel was up by 4.1% in September, petrol by 12.3% and AFVs by 21.7%. Year-to-date sales of AFVs are up nearly 50%, though they still account for less than 3% of the market.
SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, 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.”
The Ford Fiesta held its position at the top the sales charts in September, out-selling the Vauxhall Corsa. The year-to-date chart shows the Fiesta beating the Corsa by 35,000 units.
Behind the top two, the September top ten best-sellers also included (in order) the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Polo, Nissan Qashqai, Mini, Vauxhall Astra, Vauxhall Mokka and Fiat 500.
The Focus and Golf also hold third and fourth in the year-to-date chart, ahead of the Qashqai and Polo. The Astra languishes in seventh, while the Audi A3, Mini and Mercedes C-Class close out the top ten.
By Only Motors