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New car market up 8.2% in April as fleet demand rises

April figures from the SMMT show that new car registrations rose 8.2% in April to 176,820 units, marking the 26th consecutive month of growth. 

The fleet sector saw a 13% rise in new car registrations to 84,853 compared to 75,065 for April last year. Registrations were also up for the sub-25 business sector, with a 23.4% rise to 8,079 units from 6,545 in April last year.

This compares to a rise of 2.6% for private registrations, which reached 83,888 in total.

Year to date, the overall has reached 864,942 units, an increase of 12.5%. The fleet sector is up 9.6% to 392,037 units compared to 357,767 for the first four months of last year whilst the sub-25 market rose 19.2% to 41,059 units from 34,432. The private market rose 14.7% to 431,846 units. 

As a result of the latest figures, the SMMT has revised up its 2014 market forecast from 2.3 million to more than 2.4 million registrations. 

‘After the bumper plate-change month of March, the UK car market returned to more modest but still positive growth in April, with new car registrations up 8.2% to 176,820 units,’ said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. ’This marks 26 consecutive months of growth as GDP continues to pick up, inflation falls and wage levels improve. 

‘As UK economic confidence improves still further and the market continues its upward trend, we have revised our 2014 forecast up from 2.3 million to over 2.4 million registrations. This represents an increase of more than 6% versus last year.'

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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.