Fleet market rises while diesel registrations decline
According to latest data published by SMMT, new car registrations saw a slight downturn in February, with rising fleet demand helping to counter a downturn in private registrations.
A total of 83,115 vehicles were registered in February, down 0.3%. Fleet demand helped drive the market, with 45,699 cars registered, up 3.3%, while private demand fell -4.4% to 36,018 units and sub-25 ‘business’ registrations declined -5.3% to 1,398.
Diesel registrations fell -9.2% compared to the same month in 2016 while demand for petrol models rose 5.8%. And the market for alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) hit a record 3,308 registrations, up 48.9% on February 2016 and taking a 4.0% market share.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “February is traditionally one of the quietest months of the year and a steady performance was expected following another year of record growth in 2016. We expect to see the market bounce back in March as buyers take advantage of the new ’17-plate, as well as the last chance to buy a car eligible for current lower VED rates before they change on 1 April.”
Year to date, the new car market remains 1.8% ahead on the first two months of 2016, with 257,679 units registered. Fleet registrations were up 2.0% to 136,886 units, with the sector’s market share up from 53.0% to 53.1%, although business registrations declined 1.8% to 8,053 units. Private demand rose 1.8% to 112,740 units.
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