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New Car Sales Hit Five Year High in the UK

New car sales in the UK hit a new high last month when 403,136 new cars were registered. Statistics from the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that the latest 63-plate sales represented a 12.1% increase over September 2012.

September’s always a strong month for car sales because it’s one of the two months in which new registrations are issued but last month brought the highest monthly sales for five and a half years in the UK.

Car sales have been steadily rising for the past 19 months. Over that time, the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa have consistently been among the top sellers and both made the top two during September. The Fiesta remains the country’s top seller with 20,600 units brought last month and the Vauxhall Corsa was the second highest seller at 14,500.

The SMMT's chief executive, Mike Hawes explained that “The UK market is reflecting growing economic confidence. Robust private demand has played a major role in this growth, with customers attracted by exciting, increasingly fuel-efficient new models which offer savings in the cost of ownership.”

The growth has been put down to new fuel efficient cars like the Ford EcoBoost range and new finance deals that put the car’s repayment and servicing fees into one amount like Peugeot’s Just Add Fuel scheme. Richard Lowe, market analyst at Barclays, explains, “Attractive finance packages are offering consumers more clarity on running costs, which even with a more promising economic outlook is an important factor for those on a budget.”

The increase in sales is good news for all European car makers as Britain is the continent’s second biggest market. During 2013, UK drivers have purchased 1.79 million new vehicles. Although this is some way short of the 2.2 million sold in Germany, the gap between the two nations has fallen by 6% over this time last year.

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