Cars Registrations SMMT News

2013 new car market records best performance in five years

07 January 2014 #Cars #Registrations #SMMT News
  • 2,264,737 cars registered in 2013, up 10.8% on 2012 and exceeding SMMT’s 2.25 million forecast for the year.
  • 2013 hits highest annual registration total since 2007 as December achieves 22nd consecutive monthly rise.
  • On average, an additional 600 extra cars registered per day in 2013 than in the previous year.
  • UK firmly secured as Europe’s second largest car market and only one to grow consistently throughout 2013.
  • 2014 market expected to stabilise with sustainable growth of around 1% over the year.



“With its best year since a pre-recession 2007, the UK new car market has helped stimulate the country’s economic recovery,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. “While the European market is only now showing signs of improvement, the UK has consistently outperformed the rest of Europe with 22 consecutive months of growth. The 10.8% increase in 2013 reflects the attractive financial offers available as well as increased demand for more technologically advanced new cars. We expect new car registrations to remain stable in 2014 as customers return to a more regular replacement cycle.”


UK and EU27 new car registrations

Registrations 2013 Table

Dec car tab 2

Dec car 2

  • Since 2008, the UK market has seen a shift away from the Upper Medium segment towards smaller cars in the Mini and Supermini segments, as well as the MPV and Dual Purpose segments.
  • Change in buying patterns has been driven by the demand for smaller, more fuel efficient models, as well as the greater versatility provided by Dual Purpose and MPV segments.
  • Dual Purpose sales overtook Upper Medium volumes in 2013 to become the third largest segment.
  • The Supermini segment remains the largest by volume, with a market share in 2013 of 35.9%.


Dec car 3


  • All sales types recorded growth in 2013, although it was the private sector that saw the largest volume gain.
  • Improving consumer and business confidence, after an extended hold-off period and a competitive market place helped sales to grow.
  • Increase in private registrations accounted for two-thirds of overall market growth. In 2013 private buyers accounted for 47.5% of the market, up from 45.5% in 2012.


Dec car 4


  • Registrations of hybrid and plug-in cars rose 20.5% in 2013 to 32,715 units.
  • In 2011, plug-in vehicles (pure electric, plug-in hybrids and range extenders) accounted for 4.5% of combined plug-in and hybrid sales; this increased to 11% in 2013.
  • Within the past two years the number of plug-in models on sale has increased from six to 17.


Dec car 5

  •  The UK has been a key market in an otherwise subdued European economic marketplace. In 2013, the UK consolidated its position as the second largest market in Europe (after Germany).
  • Data to November shows the UK market up 9.9%, or over 190,000 units. The EU27 market as whole was down 2.7% or over 300,000 units.
  • The Spanish market, supported by its own scrappage scheme, saw volumes rise 2.1% in 2013, while the German market was down almost 5% and France and Italy by over 7%.


Click through to download the full December 2013 new car registrations news release and data table.

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