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Robust new car market growth continues in April

SMMT data shows that total new car registrations rose 14.8% last month to 163,357 units, with April having secured the strongest growth in 14 months as buying cycles and market volatility combined to boost uptake.

The growth followed a further rise in private registrations, up almost a third on April last year. In total, 81,753 units were registered by private buyers last month – a rise of 32.3% on the figure of 61,816 for April 2012.

In comparison, growth in the fleet sector was far more modest, with a 0.8% rise to 75,067 units last month from 74,480 in April last year.

For the sub-25 sector, registrations were up 8.5% to 6,537 from 6,026 units in April 2012.

Overall, registrations in the first four months of 2013 grew 8.9% to 768,555 units, with the growth in stark contrast to the other major car markets in Europe.

Following positive Q1 growth, the SMMT has revised up its full-year market forecast to 2.1 million units, a 3% increase on 2012 but still some 300,000 units off the pre-recession market. Further growth to 2.1 million units is expected in 2014.

‘The UK new car market continues to perform surprisingly strongly, with volumes again increasing in April. While the headline increase was up almost 15% there were more sales days this year than last,’ said SMMT interim chief executive, Mike Baunton.

‘The UK continues to perform well ahead of the troubled Eurozone as consumer confidence, regular purchase cycles, attractive finance deals and wider market factors continue to make new car buying favourable for motorists.’

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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.