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The announcement highlights good news for the car industry as the SMMT reports a rise in UK new car registrations from 7.9 per cent to 66,749 units in February 2013. New car registrations have been increasing for the past year with a year-to-date increase of 10.3 per cent to 210,392 units.
February is well known for being a quiet month for traders ahead of the new 13 registration plate-change in March, yet last month secured the highest growth in the private market since the end of the Scrappage Incentive Scheme in spring 2010.
The growth of the new car market has been boosted by the demand for privately owned cars with registrations of petrol and alternatively fueled cars rising more than one fifth in February alone.
Taking into account the subdued nature of the economy in general, the rise in new car registrations has been cited as a result of specific market factors. Buyers have become keen to replace their cars when faced with some attractive deals and offers on new, more fuel efficient vehicles.
Mike Baunton, Interim Chief Executive of the SMMT said: “UK new car registrations have risen every month for the last year with February continuing the trend, growing 7.9% year-on-year boosted by the highest increase in private consumer demand since spring 2010.
“However, February is traditionally a low volume month as motorists look forward to the plate-change in March, but attractive new car deals are sustaining the market. New models are delivering ever greater fuel efficiency, practicality, refinement, technology and predictable ownership costs, so motorists are seeing the benefit of new car purchases.”
The Supermini segment continues to be the most popular with a 35.6 per cent share in volumes in February. The reason for this is that motorists are continuing to downsize their vehicles in favour of more fuel efficient, environmentally friendly cars which are cheaper to own and run.
Alternatively-fuelled cars have also reported a significant rise of 26.6 per cent in February volumes, indicating that people are becoming more aware of the advantage of purchasing hybrid and electric cars in the future.
The SMMT is expecting new ’13’-plate registrations in March to be slightly ahead of last year’s 372,835 units.