August car sales up

nearly a quarter

Ford Fiesta

THE UK new car market enjoyed a boost in August, as year-on-year demand rose 23 per cent, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

A total of 94,094 new cars were registered in the month as the market responded to regulatory changes, with cost-savvy buyers taking advantage of some compelling deals in what is always one of the year's smallest months.

Demand was up across the board, with consumers and fleets boosting year-on-year registrations by 23 per cent and almost 20 per cent respectively, while the smaller business sector rose a solid 166 per cent equivalent to an uplift of around 1,500 units against August last year.

Superminis remained the most popular buy, followed by small family and dual purpose cars, with the luxury saloon and city car segments recording the most notable growth.

Meanwhile, the UK's growing range of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric cars continued to attract buyers, with a record one in 12 people choosing one.

Demand surged by a substantial 89 per cent with the sector accounting for eight per cent of the market - its highest ever level - as billions of pounds of manufacturer investment help deliver more ultra-low and zero emission models to the market.

Top selling new car was the Ford Fiesta with 4,552 registrations in August, followed by the VW Golf (4,180), VW Polo (3,207) and Ford Kuga (1,902) and in fifth spot the BMW 3 Series, with 1,847 sales.

In the year to date, the overall market remains down by 4.2 per cent in line with forecasts after a turbulent first eight months. However, demand remains at a high level with more than 1.5 million new cars featuring the latest in advanced safety, emissions and convenience technology joining British roads so far in 2018.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive,said: "It's great to see such strong growth, particularly in the important electric vehicle market. However, given August is always a small month in new car registrations ahead of the important plate-change month of September, it would be wrong to view the market as booming.

"Indeed, this past month has seen some significant variances as regulatory changes have disrupted some supplies. In the long term, however, the new emissions certification test will give consumers renewed confidence in the performance of all vehicles, helping them choose the latest, cleanest technology that best suits their driving needs, whether that be petrol, diesel, hybrid or plug-in."

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