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    Record Year for New Car Market as Registrations Hit 2.6 Million in 2015

    * Data for December and full-year 2015:

    • Best ever performance in new car market in 2015 after fourth consecutive year of growth.
    • Unprecedented 2.63 million vehicles registered after 6.3% rise in demand, exceeding forecast.
    • Biggest December on record sees registrations boosted 8.4% with 180,077 new cars registered.
    • Fleet demand at highest ever level, surpassing 1.3 million vehicles in 2015.

    UK new car registrations for 2015 beat 2.6 million units for the first time, sealing four years of consecutive growth. The market has posted increases in all bar one of the past 46 months and a bumper December – the biggest ever, up 8.4% – saw 180,077 new cars registered.

    Overall, the market rose 6.3% in 2015 to 2,633,503 units – exceeding forecast and outperforming the last record year in 2003 when 2,579,050 new cars left the UK’s showrooms. This is only the fourth time that the market has surpassed 2.5 million vehicles in a full year.

    Growth was enjoyed across all sectors, with UK fleets boosting demand by 11.8% to reach an all time high of 1.3 million units. Appetite in the private sector, meanwhile, was also robust, up 2.5%.

    Gains were reported across all fuel types, with petrol and diesel registrations up 8.4% and 3% respectively with equal market shares. Alternatively fuelled vehicle (AFV) demand, meanwhile, grew 40.3%, securing the biggest ever market share of 2.8% for a year. Plug-in hybrids experienced phenomenal growth, with volumes more than doubling, while pure electric vehicles saw an uplift of around 50%.

    Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The new car market defied expectations in 2015, hitting an all time record driven by strong consumer and business confidence. Buyers took advantage of attractive finance deals and low inflation to secure some of the most innovative, high tech and fuel efficient vehicles ever produced. The past four years have seen a remarkable period of sustained growth, and the outlook remains positive with every reason to expect the market to hold broadly steady in 2016.”

    Best sellers  December Year-to-date
    1 Ford Fiesta 8,977 1 Ford Fiesta 133,434
    2 Vauxhall Corsa 6,914 2 Vauxhall Corsa 92,077
    3 MINI 5,371 3 Ford Focus 83,816
    4 Ford Focus 4,982 4 Volkswagen Golf 73,409
    5 Volkswagen Golf 4,816 5 Nissan Qashqai 60,814
    6 Vauxhall Mokka 4,404 6 Volkswagen Polo 54,900
    7 Vauxhall Astra 4,075 7 Vauxhall Astra 52,703
    8 BMW 3 Series 3,750 8 Audi A3 47,653
    9 BMW 1 Series 3,260 9 MINI 47,076
    10 Nissan Qashqai 3,249 10 Vauxhall Mokka 45,399
    From the SMMT
    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham