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'Modest' increase in August new car market, retail sales down slightly

A line-up of new cars

The UK new car market achieved modest growth in August, as registrations rose 3.3% against the same month last year.

According to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 81,640 new cars were registered in the month, with year-to-date performance remaining positive, up 2.8% to 1.68 million units.

The fleet sector drove the growth with demand, rising 7.7% to 43,267.

Private registrations fell slightly by -0.2%.

Diesel demand also fell marginally by -0.2%, with petrol registrations edging ahead 5.3% and alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFV) seeing significant growth of 30.8%.

Almost 54,000 AFVs have been registered so far in 2016, compared with just over 44,000 last year.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “August is traditionally one of the quietest months as consumers look ahead to the September plate change, so growth, albeit small, is good news.

"With showrooms full of exciting models featuring the very latest technology and a raft of affordable finance options, it still makes economic sense to consider buying a new car. The key to maintaining this strong market is consumer confidence for which we look to government to deliver the conditions for economic growth.”

Sue Robinson, National Franchised Dealer Association director, said: "Intelligence from our members demonstrates consumer demand remains steady as a result of record employment levels and record low interest rates. With good footfall through dealerships we look forward to the September plate change with confidence.”

August new car registrations 2000 - 2016


Sales by fuel and market type for August 2016 v August 2015 and year-to-date comparison

August 2016 new car registrations by market type


Best selling models


New car registrations best sellers August 2016


> More information on the August registrations 

> Registration and market share data by brand at AMi (free to dealers)

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