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Fleet registrations likely to outstrip private market in May, says Glass’s

Commenting on the current UK new car market, the firm’s Andrew Jackson, head of analytics, highlights that April saw 176,820 new cars registered in the UK, achieving predicted volumes for the month. Fleet registrations grew by 13% YoY to 84,853 units whilst business registrations continued its purple streak with another 23.4% of YoY growth hitting 8,079 units, totalling 23,209. Private registrations meanwhile delivered a more modest 2.6% YoY growth, which equated to 83,888.

When looking at registrations by fuel-type, diesel- and petrol-fuelled registrations grew at 10.8% and 4.5% to total 90,920 and 82,951 respectively. AFVs registered a customarily large jump at 58.7% to total 2,949; 1,091 units more than April 2013.

The most popular marques were once again Ford, Vauxhall and Volkswagen. 

Fiesta continues to be the nation’s favourite model with 10,250 recorded registrations, a 27% growth in registrations versus April 2013, whilst the Audi A3 was the highest growth model in volume terms year-on-year, with a 28% increase to 3,754 registrations and 5th spot overall. Ford’s Focus again took second place with 6,772 registrations (a 14% growth versus 2013) whilst Volkswagen’s Golf rose one place to take third with 5,302 (near identical volume to 2013).

Vauxhall’s Corsa and Astra took fourth and seventh places respectively but, more worryingly it also became the fourth straight month that the Corsa lost volume in registrations. Looking at the year-to-date figures, Corsa’s volumes fell 9.3% versus 2013 whilst Ford’s Fiesta has climbed 16.7% over the same period. Now, more than ever, Vauxhall need their updated ‘Corsa E’, which is to be revealed in September at the Paris Autoshow, to be everything that the rumour-mill is purporting it will be, as the “New” Fiesta is now comprehensively winning the battle of the B-segment.

Jackson adds that the expectation for May is that, much like April, approximately 7% to 8% of total annual registrations for 2014 will occur, saying: ‘This would translate into registration volumes circa 190,000 units, which would represent a year-on-year growth of approximately 7%.. How that value breaks down into its constituent registration categories will be the most interesting element. Last month Glass’s predicted a stabilisation in private registrations and a deceleration in Fleet and Business, all of which happened. It will now be interesting to see if these sectors rally or maintain this pattern.

‘The likelihood is that a similar pattern to that of April will be seen for May, with business and fleet registration growth outstripping private registrations.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.