- 2,476,435 new cars registered in the UK in 2014 – the most in a calendar year since 2004.
- Year was fourth-largest of all time; only 2002, 2003 and 2004 saw more cars registered.
- 2014 market grew 9.3% over the previous year, ahead of the EU average of 5.7%*.
- UK remains second largest market in EU (behind Germany and ahead of France, Italy and Spain), and recorded second-largest growth of these top five EU markets.
- Every month in 2014 saw an increase, with December’s 8.7% rise the 34th consecutive month of growth.
- Huge growth for plug-in car market, which saw volumes quadruple from 3,586 in 2013 to 14,498 in 2014.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “UK new car registrations returned to pre-recession levels in 2014, as pent-up demand from the recession years combined with confidence in the economy saw consumer demand for the latest models grow consistently and strongly.
“The year was particularly strong for alternatively-fuelled vehicles as increased choice, coupled with a growing desire for reduced costs and greater efficiency, resulted in a quadrupling of plug-in car registrations over 2013. With a variety of new plug-in models expected in 2015, this area of the market will continue to grow significantly. For the market as a whole, we expect a more stable 2015 as demand levels off.”
UK new car registrations (rolling year total) – 2008-2014, with 2015 forecast
2014: the year of the alternatively-fuelled vehicle
- 2014 saw a remarkable surge in demand for ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs): registrations of plug-in cars increased four-fold from 3,586 in 2013 to 14,498 in 2014.
- ULEVs offer increased efficiency and reduced running costs, and increasing consumer awareness has driven registrations upwards.
- Consumers are faced with a burgeoning choice when it comes to ULEVs: there are now more than 20 models available to buy, compared with just six in 2011. Body styles include hatchbacks, SUVs and coupés.
- Each of the 10 best-selling brands in the UK now has a ULEV in its model range.
Registrations in top five EU markets, January-November 2014 (Source: ACEA)
- The UK car market has seen the second-largest level of growth in Europe, 3.6 percentage points greater than the EU average of 5.7%.
- Moderate growth was seen in the majority of Europe’s largest markets – France (1.1%), Germany (2.6%) and Italy (4.3%).
- A national scrappage scheme means Spain is the only market in the EU top five to exceed the UK’s level of growth, posting an 18.1% increase.
Share of UK new car market by segment – 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014
- The past 15 years have seen a shift in the types of cars that people are buying, with two trends particularly evident.
- As buyers seek lower running costs, demand for small cars (Mini and Supermini segments) has grown. The latest small cars offer significant advances in comfort and safety levels.
- A more recent trend is the strong growth of the Dual Purpose (4×4, crossovers) and Multi Purpose segments, with buyers attracted by the extra space, style and versatility offered by these models.