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Fleet registrations rise again as UK new car market shows longest-ever period of growth

Newly released data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that new car registrations increased 7.7% in May to 194,032 units – marking both the most registrations in May since 2004 and the 27th consecutive month of growth for the UK new car market. 

Fleet registrations remained strong, with a total of 95,702 units registered last month, up 6.5% on the figure of 89,889 for May 2013. Meanwhile sub-25 “Business registrations” rose 26.8% to 7,619 units from 6,011 in May last year. Private registrations also showed continued growth, with registrations up 7.7%. 

Year to date, all sectors showed growth too. For the first five months of the year, fleet registrations rose 9% to 488,129 units from 447,666 for the same period last year. Business registrations were up 20.4% to 48,695 from 40,443. Meanwhile private registrations were up 13.4%. Overall, YtD registrations for 2014 have passed 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.’

To read Deloitte's comments on the news, click here.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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.