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The latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed that the UK market for new cars has continued to grow throughout March which is a key month due to the new registration plate change and its position at the end of the first quarter.
Car registrations rose by 5.9 per cent in March, with 394,806 registrations of the new 13-plate cars. Over the first quarter of 2013, registrations rose in total by 7.4 per cent to 605,198 units in comparison with the same period last year according to figures from the SMMT.
March also marked the 13th consecutive month of growth for new car registrations, with volumes recorded as being their highest since 2010 when the Scrappage incentive scheme was introduced as a ‘money for old bangers’ scheme to help boost the car industry as a whole.
Figures from the SMMT also reveal that registrations over the past 12 months have increased by almost 140,000 units or 7.2 per cent to 2.086 million. This has been supported by an increase in private registrations, although all sales have reported an increase during March as well as over the first quarter as a whole.
The Ford Fiesta continues to be the best-selling car of 2013, recording sales of 34,309 units for Q1 and 22,748 for March, followed by the Vauxhall Corsa with 16,169 units and the Ford Focus with 15,434 units.
Despite growth in all segments, the Supermini category was the most popular, up by 56 per cent which is due to its selection of new, highly capable models. Other popular segments include the MPV and Dual Purpose categories.
Mike Baunton, the SMMT’s interim chief executive, said: “UK new car registrations out-performed expectations in March, the first month of the new 13-plate. The market increased more than 5% on March 2012 to almost 395,000 units.
“Despite ongoing economic concerns, consistent monthly growth in the market is an encouraging sign of returning consumer confidence as motorists are attracted to forecourts by new models and the latest technologies.”
The total of registrations for March was 2.7% above the SMMT’s forecast, which could lead to the market exceeding its 2.057 million prediction for the whole of 2013.