Longest ever period of growth for UK new car market

  • May increase drives UK new car market to 27 consecutive months of growth, breaking record set in the late 1980s.
  • New car registrations increased 7.7% in May to 194,032 units – the most in May since 2004.
  • Registrations for 2014-to-date pass the one million mark, rising 11.6% to 1,058,974 units.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The new car market has now grown in every month since March 2012 – the longest period of growth on record and a reflection of the UK’s ever-improving economic conditions.

“Over the past 27 months, increasingly confident consumers have been drawn to some fantastic new products, attracted by innovative technologies, improved fuel economy and competitive deals helping make a new car more affordable. With SMMT forecasting an overall rise of around 6% over the year, the coming months should see some levelling off in growth rates as underlying demand stabilises.”

 

Five longest periods of consecutive monthly growth in UK new car registrations

(SMMT data since 1959)

Five longest periods of consecutive monthly growth in UK new car registrations)

 

May 2014 and year-to-date UK new car registrations

Total new cars registered in the UK 2007 to 2013

UK best selling new cars May 2014 and 2014 year to date

Market trend over 10 years: how new car buyers demand more

Market trend over 10 years: how new car buyers demand more

(data sourced from SMMT/JATO dynamics)

 

  • With the new car market growing for a record 27 consecutive months, SMMT looked at buying trends – with the conclusion that motorists are demanding ever-increasing levels of style, comfort and functionality from their cars.
  • In the decade from 2004 to 2013, the number of cars registered with alloy wheels as standard jumped from 65.0% to 87.1%, while air conditioning was standard on 95.4% of cars in 2013 compared to just 75.3% in 2004.
  • Reflecting the intensifying demand for in-car connectivity, registrations of cars with MP3 capability as standard increased from 83.3% of the market to 95.7% in four years between 2010 and 2013.

 

Click through to download the full May 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