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Financial News: UK New Car Registrations Hit Record High: SMMT

UK New Car Registrations Hit Record High: SMMT

04/05/2017 - 05:33:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - UK car sales logged the biggest increase on record in March, the Society of Motor Manufacturers said Wednesday.

Car registrations increased 8.4 percent year-on-year to 562,337 units in March. This was more than double the number in the first two months of the year combined.

In the first quarter, registrations advanced 6.2 percent to 820,016 units, a new record quarter.

The record performance came as buyers seized the chance to buy cars before the new vehicle excise duty rates came into force.

From April 1, under the new system all new cars, except for those with zero emissions, are subject to an annual flat rate charge.

Fleets and businesses were the big contributors to market growth in March, with registrations up 12.6 percent and 11.9 percent, respectively. Nonetheless, demand from private buyers grew, with registrations climbing 4.4 percent to reverse the decline in demand in February.

"Looking ahead to the rest of the year, we still expect the market to cool only slightly given broader political uncertainties as there are still attractive deals on offer," Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said.

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