SMMT say UK March car sales beat expectations

UK new car registrations outperformed expectations in March, jumping almost 6% against a year ago, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said.

They said March was typically a strong month for car registration- accounting for around 20% of annual sales. The increase is a significant strengthening from the 2% recorded last year and counter an EU trend towards declining sales.

There were 394,806 registrations of cars with the new 13-plate, a 5.9% increase year-on-year, supported by strong demand for private registrations, which rose 7.8%. Volumes were at their highest since the 2010 Scrappage Incentive Scheme and the increase represents the 13th consecutive month of growth. The March figures took total registrations for the year-to-date to 605,198, a 7.4% increase on 2012.

However, registrations are still 12.1% below the 2007 pre-financial crisis market total.

SMMT interim chief executive Mike Baunton said that, “motorists had been attracted to forecourts by “new models and the latest technologies”.”


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