Confident motorists drive new car registrations up in April

  • New car registrations rose 8.2% in April to 176,820 units, the 26th consecutive month of growth.
  • Volumes for the year-to-date reached 864,942, an increase of 12.5%.
  • Continuing improvements in economic conditions bolster consumer confidence, fuelling new car registrations.
  • SMMT revises up 2014 market forecast from 2.3 million to more than 2.4 million registrations.

“After the bumper plate-change month of March, the UK car market returned to more modest but still positive growth in April, with new car registrations up 8.2% to 176,820 units,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. “This marks 26 consecutive months of growth as GDP continues to pick up, inflation falls and wage levels improve.

“As UK economic confidence improves still further and the market continues its upward trend, we have revised our 2014 forecast up from 2.3 million to over 2.4 million registrations. This represents an increase of more than 6% versus last year.”

New car registrations, including SMMT forecasts to 2015 (year-end totals)

Graph 1

Table 1

Table 2

  UK and EU new car monthly registration growth, 2013 and 2014 to March

Graph 2

  • Registrations in the EU grew for seven consecutive months to March 2014.
  • EU volumes in Q1 were up 8.4%, or more than 250,000 units, to 3.25 million registrations.
  • All of the top five markets – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – recorded growth in Q1.
  • The UK is now firmly established as the second largest new car market in the EU.
  • Supported by the strength of the March plate-change, the UK showed the strongest growth of the EU top five in Q1, up 13.7%, just 24,000 units fewer than Germany.
  • The UK accounted for almost a third of the Q1 net volume gain in the EU.

Click through to download the full April 2014 new car registrations news release and data table.

New car registrations

Find monthly new car registration data and in-depth analysis here.

New car registrations