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SMMT expects 350,000 new car registrations in March

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is expecting dealers to register over 350,000 new cars in March.

Motorists are expected to spend £5 billion in the plate-change month which will generate £1bnin VAT for the UK economy.

March is the biggest month for dealers across the UK and accounts for almost a fifth of the year’s trade with the other plate-change month of September, traditionally the second busiest.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive “The March market holds a great deal of significance for the UK’s franchised dealer network, motorists and the wider economy.

“More than 350,000 vehicles will be registered in the month with private motorists and business buyers capitalising on the ever increasing levels of fuel efficiency, safety, comfort and practicality of today’s vehicles.”

SMMT shopping list prediction

Fuel efficiency – Average new car CO2 emissions are now 138g/km with official miles per gallon figures typically exceeding 50mpg.

Security – Theft of vehicles has fallen almost 70% over the past 10 years, while theft from vehicles has also dropped significantly, down over 50%.

Safety – 77% of new cars tested by Euro NCAP in 2011 achieved five stars and in the last 10 years road fatalities have fallen almost 50%.

Colour – Silver and blue coloured cars are expected to make-up the lion’s share of March registrations.

Size/type – Last year, the supermini segment was most popular, accounting for 36.3% of the total market.

Alternative fuels – Market share of alternatively fuelled vehicles is growing steadily with more hybrid, pure electric and biofuel models available than ever before.

New technology – Digital radio is rapidly becoming the ‘must-have’ option for new car buyers. Over a fifth of new cars have digital radio fitted as standard, as consumers look ahead to the planned 2015 switchover.

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