UK car market grows for 36th consecutive month, SMMT reveals

The UK car market has experienced its longest ever period of sustained growth as sales grew again in February, new figures have revealed.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 76,958 new cars were registered in February 2015, a 12 per cent increase on the same month last year. That marks the 36th consecutive month of increased sales, a record period of growth.

Rising new car sales have been shown to lead to improved business for used car dealers too, as more people look to trade in their older vehicles. For any car trader, whether a franchise selling brand new cars or a small independent showroom selling used vehicles, it is important that they regularly re-evaluate their motor trade insurance policy to ensure it provides adequate protection for all of the business' assets.

The data released by the SMMT showed that February's increase was driven largely by fleet buyers, with registrations from this group up 19.9 per cent last month. Meanwhile, the private market saw an increase of just 3.4 per cent.

In the aftermath of the recession, the number of new cars registered has risen every month since March 2012. The three-year period of growth outstrips the 26 months of consecutive growth that was seen towards the end of the 1980s.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, commented: “Three years of continuous growth in the new car market is remarkable and reflects the strong upturn in the confidence of UK car buyers since the recession.

“Registrations of fleet and business cars have outpaced the private market in February, reflecting the increased business confidence across the UK. With most fleet car buyers on a three-year replacement cycle, many of those cars purchased at the beginning of the current growth period are now due for replacement. Over the course of 2015, however, we are expecting a more stable market to emerge given there has already been an extended period of consistent growth.”