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January registrations at highest level since 2005

The UK new car market hit the ground running in January, with rises in fleet and overall registrations and a new milestone for alternatively fuelled vehicles.


Fleet registrations saw a 1.4% rise to 91,181 units in January 2017.

A total of 174,564 vehicles were registered last month according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) – a 2.9% year-on-year uplift and the highest level since 2005.

Fleet registrations saw a 1.4% rise to 91,181 units while the sub-25 ‘Business’ sector fell by 1.0% to 6,654. However it was private registrations that led the growth, with 76,729 new cars registered – up 5.0%.

January also saw the alternatively fuelled vehicle segment reach a new milestone, with registrations up 19.9%, pushing market share to 4.2% –  the first time 4% has been surpassed. Across other fuel types there was a mixed picture with diesel registrations down -4.3% but petrol registrations up 8.9%.

Looking ahead, Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, commented: “After record growth in 2016, some cooling is anticipated over the coming months, but provided interest rates remain low and the economy stable, the market is in a good position to withstand its short-term challenges.”

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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.