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British Car Registrations Reach Highest Level In A Decade

posted on Apr 15 2014 by Kiri Nowak

British Car Registrations Reach Highest Level In A Decade

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), new car registrations rose by 17.7% to 464,824 in March compared to last year. This is excellent news for the car industry as it’s also a reflection of car sales. This is a positive sign following the economic difficulties of the last few years, showing signs that things are clearly improving.

British car registrations have not been this high since the move to twice yearly plates in 1999 where there were over 466,000 registrations. March is usually the biggest month of the year, when nearly a fifth of annual registrations are completed.

The increase in sales could be because there are so many different options when it comes to buying a new car in 2014. New technologies are making cars cheaper to run and more affordable. Leasing is another option which enables you to get a brand new car without having to shell out the money to buy it outright. According to Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, the data is "a reflection of intensifying consumer confidence and the availability of great new products."

This is also a reflection of a potential increase in leased cars as brand new registration plates are registered when a car is leased. One of the advantages to leasing a car over buying it is that you can get a new car every couple of years and a brand new registration with it. When you buy a new car you have to stick with that registration until you decide to sell the car, which could be years. Another possible reason for the increase could be a strong demand for new 14-plate car registrations.

The most popular car this year by far was the Ford Fiesta with a massive 25,753 registrations. Its success has been attributed to the fact that it has a big-car feel, excellent handling and frugal engines. Its cousin, the Ford Focus came in second with 16,860 registrations and the Vauxhall Corsa took third place with 16,231 registrations.

50% of the cars in the top 10 are small hatchbacks. These are cars that people tend to require the most, and they make up a large part of the market sector. An executive saloon, the BMW 3 Series also made it into the top ten showing there is still demand for smart saloon cars. The latest BMW 3 Series is efficient, fun to drive and reliable.

This increase isn’t likely to slow down any time soon, Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive has said "We expect the market to continue to perform positively for the rest of the year, albeit at a more modest rate."