Record year for UK car sales as registrations hit 2.6 million

Best ever performance in new car market in 2015 after fourth consecutive year of growth

Record year for UK car sales as registrations hit 2.6 million
Plug-in hybrid registrations more than doubled in 2015.

UK new car registrations for 2015 have exceeded 2.6 million units for the first time, sealing four years of consecutive growth, the Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders (SMMT) has said.

New car sales in December were up 8.4 per cent to 180,077 new cars – the highest December ever.

2015’s record exceeded forecasts and outperformed the last record year in 2003 when 2,579,050 new cars left the UK’s showrooms.

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

Alternatively fuelled vehicle (AFV) demand grew 40.3 by per cent, securing the biggest ever market share of 2.8 per cent for a year.

Plug-in hybrids also experienced growth, with volumes more than doubling, while pure electric vehicles saw an uplift of around 50 per cent.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive said: “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.”

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