UK car sales highest in five years

UK car sales in 2013 recorded their best year since 2007 according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The report found that 2.26 million vehicles were registered in 2013, a 10.8 per cent rise on the previous year. Although the figure is still six per cent lower than 2007's 2.4 million total, the UK has now overtaken France to become Europe's second biggest car market.

Other notable findings include:

  • On average, an additional 600 cars were registered per day in 2013 than in the previous year
  • The positive 2013 figures means the market has achieved 22 consecutive monthly rises
  • One in seven of cars bought last year were built in the UK
  • Market growth was driven by private registration: private buyers accounted for 47.5 per cent of sales, up from 45.5 per cent in 2012
  • In 2014 the market is predicted to continue the upward trend with sustainable growth of around one per cent over the year.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of SMMT, commented on the positive figures:

"With its best year since a pre-recession 2007, the UK car market has helped stimulate the country's economic recovery. While the European market is only now showing signs of improvement, the UK has consistently outperformed Europe with 22 consecutive months of growth.

"The 10.8 per cent increase in 2013 reflects the attractive financial offers available as well as increased demand for more technologically advanced cars. We expect new car registrations to remain stable in 2014 as customers return to a more regular replacement cycle."