Consumer confidence continues to light a fire under the new car market, with November seeing the 33rd consecutive month of growth with total registrations up 8% on last year to 172,327 units.
It brings the total for the year to November to 2,310,237, a rise of 9.4%. Total sales in 2013 were 2,264,737, a 10.8% increase on 2012.
Mike Hawes, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders' chief executive, said, "Six months after the record was broken for consecutive monthly growth in new car registrations, the market continues to march on.
"Today’s figures are an indication of the continuing economic confidence that is driving the new car market, with business, fleet and private registrations all showing strong rises in the month. We expect a more stable market in 2015."
Best sellers in November
1. Ford Fiesta 7,660
2. Volkswagen Golf 5,440
3. Vauxhall Corsa 4,832
4. Ford Focus 4,813
5. Volkswagen Polo 4,075
6. Nissan Qashqai 3,947
7. Vauxhall Astra 3,710
8. Nissan Juke 3,557
9. Audi A3 3,451
10. Mercedes-Benz C Class 3,336
Best sellers year-to-date
1. Ford Fiesta 123,747
2. Ford Focus 78,944
3. Vauxhall Corsa 73,709
4. Volkswagen Golf 69,787
5. Vauxhall Astra 54,753
6. Nissan Qashqai 47,154
7. Volkswagen Polo 44,815
8. Audi A3 42,949
9. Fiat 500 41,297
10.Nissan Juke 36,215
Changing habits: the downsizing trend and the growth of dual purpose and MPVs (Source: SMMT)
• The UK new car market has seen peaks and troughs in the past 15 years, but changing buying habits have been a constant throughout this period, with two trends standing out.
• The market for small cars (mini and supermini segments) has grown considerably, supported by lower running costs and advances in comfort and safety levels.
• A trend particularly evident in the past five years is the growth of the dual purpose (4x4, crossovers) and multi purpose vehicles as buyers seek extra space, style and versatility.
Chris Sutton, managing director of finance provider Black Horse, said: “Clearly cheap and affordable finance continues to play a positive role in the purchase of new cars, in particular the use of PCPs (Personal Contract Purchases) which is attractive to car buyers given the current low interest rate environment that UK consumers continue to benefit from.
"Strong business confidence is also likely to have a positive impact on car sales too as more businesses feel confident to increase purchases of company cars and expand their overall fleet capacity.
"Finally, there has been much speculation on when the good news will come to an end but we are confident of a good start to 2015 for both manufacturers and dealers.
TrustFord’s operations director John Leeman, said: “The national performance has been mirrored at TrustFord. Across our network of dealerships we have seen a total retail increase of 11.6% year to date and a monthly increase of 20%.
"In line with such growth, we’re starting to see a real shift within the industry, representing an exciting time for dealerships. Dealers are now acting more like traditional retailers, where premium customer service and in-store experience are pivotal. New technologies also have their part to play in engaging customers, whether to enhance the driving experience, in-store experience or adapt marketing practices.
"Another key factor that may lead to future growth and increased confidence in the coming months is the Prime Minister’s recent commitment to upgrade crucial transport infrastructure.”