Plug-in hybrid sales more than doubled in 2015 as registrations of alternatively fuelled vehicles rose 40%
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Record performances in new car market

  • Unprecedented 2.63 million vehicles registered after 6.3% rise in demand exceeds forecast
  • Fleet demand at highest ever level, up 11.8% and topping 1.3 million vehicles
  • Record December registrations up 8.4% with 180,077 new cars of which more than 100,000 were fleet orders

FLEETS accounted for more than half of UK new car registrations in 2015, up 11.8% to a whopping 1.3 million as the national total topped 2.6 million vehicles for the first time.

The market has posted increases in all bar one of the past 46 months and a bumper December – the biggest ever, up 8.4% – saw 180,077 new cars registered with over 100,000 of those for fleets.

Overall, the market rose 6.3% in 2015 to 2,633,503 units – exceeding forecast and outperforming the last record year in 2003 when 2,579,050 new cars left the UK’s showrooms. This is only the fourth time that the market has surpassed 2.5 million vehicles in a full year.

Growth was enjoyed across all sectors, with UK fleets boosting demand by 11.8% to reach all time high fleet sales of 1.3 million cars for half the total market while appetite in the private sector, also robust, rose only 2.5%.

Gains were reported across all fuel types, with petrol and diesel registrations up 8.4% and 3% respectively with equal market shares.

New car registrations – rolling-year totals, 2009 to present

Alternatively fuelled vehicle (AFV) demand, meanwhile, grew 40.3%, securing the biggest ever market share of 2.8% for a year. Plug-in hybrids experienced phenomenal growth, with volumes more than doubling, while pure electric vehicles saw an uplift of around 50%.

Reporting the figures, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “The new car market defied expectations in 2015, hitting an all time record driven by strong consumer and business confidence.

“Buyers took advantage of attractive finance deals and low inflation to secure some of the most innovative, high tech and fuel efficient vehicles ever produced. The past four years have seen a remarkable period of sustained growth, and the outlook remains positive with every reason to expect the market to hold broadly steady in 2016.”

December registrations 2014 2015

new car registrations 2015

And the top sellers are…

Ford Fiesta is the UK best seller by a significant margin

Ford Fiesta is the UK best seller by a significant margin

 

Best sellersDecember2015 full year
1Ford Fiesta8,9771Ford Fiesta133,434
2Vauxhall Corsa6,9142Vauxhall Corsa92,077
3MINI5,3713Ford Focus83,816
4Ford Focus4,9824Volkswagen Golf73,409
5Volkswagen Golf4,8165Nissan Qashqai60,814
6Vauxhall Mokka4,4046Volkswagen Polo54,900
7Vauxhall Astra4,0757Vauxhall Astra52,703
8BMW 3 Series3,7508Audi A347,653
9BMW 1 Series3,2609MINI47,076
10Nissan Qashqai3,24910Vauxhall Mokka45,399

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