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Rising fleet registrations contribute to 10.6% rise in H1 new car registrations

Newly released data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows that 1,287,265 new cars were registered in the first six months of the year, with June registrations up 6.2% to 228,291 units.

The figures were supported by strong growth for fleet registrations, which rose 5.5% in June to 113,859 units from 107,877 in June 2013. For the first six months of the year, fleet registrations were up 8.4% to 602,113 units from 555,543 units for the first half of 2013.

Even stronger growth was seen from the sub-25 “business” sector, with the June figure up an impressive 25.5% to 12,817 units from 50,655 in June last year. For the year to date, the sector rose 21.4% to 61,512 units from 10,212 for the first six months of 2013.

In comparison, private registrations for June were up 4.9% to 101,615 whilst the YtD figure rose 11.9% to 623,640.

The overall new car market is now on track for 2.4 million new car registrations in 2014, up more than 6% on last year.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘Improving economic conditions have helped propel the UK new car market to a strong first half-year performance, with registrations up 10.6% on the same period in 2013.

‘Key to attracting consumers is the ever-improving efficiency of new cars, an important factor that is highlighted by the 51.3% increase in alternatively-fuelled vehicle registrations so far this year. The overall market has risen faster than we were expecting but, after a bumper March, growth is showing signs of stabilising around our forecast level.’

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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.