Britain’s new car market seemed to bounce back with a vengeance in April as new car registrations rose by 10.4 per cent compared to the same month last year.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 167,911 new cars were registered last month – 15,835 more than the 152,076 reported in April 2017.
This is the first monthly increase in over a year, after new car registrations reached an all-time peak in March 2017, when more than half a million units were shifted.
The SMMT pinned the welcome uplift on a number of factors, such as the timing of Easter, which gifted April two additional selling days, and March’s adverse weather, which delayed some deliveries, pushing them into the next month.
Additionally, last April’s VED changes caused a pull forward into March 2017 and a subsequent depressed April market.
As such, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes doesn’t believe new car sales will now enjoy calmer waters.
“It’s important not to look at one month in isolation and, given the major disruption to last April’s market caused by sweeping VED changes, this increase is not unexpected,” he commented.
Much of the increase came from retail buyers, with private registrations rising by 26.3 per cent to 75,607 units, while fleet registrations rose just 0.9 per cent. In context, the private and fleet markets are down by 8.5 per cent for the year so far.
The Ford Fiesta [pictured] is by far the best-selling car of the year, shifting almost twice as many as its nearest competitor – 40,619 units to the VW Golf’s 26,685.
Ben Robb, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, added: “We shouldn’t presume Britain’s new car market will even out now. A lot of factors combined to result in an increase but we shouldn’t expect the same for forthcoming months.”