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UK New Vehicle Registrations Saw 10.8% Increase in 2013

The final figures are in for 2013 UK car sales and the news is good. According to figures just released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), total UK new vehicle registrations for 2013 was 2.26 million. This represents a rise of 10.8% on 2012. Significantly, the total is also the highest since 2007, reflecting the impact of the financial crisis which began to bite in 2008.

The final figures are in for 2013 UK car sales and the news is good. According to figures just released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), total UK new vehicle registrations for 2013 was 2.26 million. This represents a rise of 10.8% on 2012. Significantly, the total is also the highest since 2007, reflecting the impact of the financial crisis which began to bite in 2008. Although the 2013 figure is 6% lower than the pre-crisis 2007 figure, it shows a remarkable recovery and also means that the UK has overtaken France as the second largest car buyer, behind Germany. 

There are various economic indicators to explain the rise in UK car sales but the importance of good quality finance packages cannot be overestimated. Around 75% of new car customers are buying their cars using some form of finance package. Consumer confidence also seems to have grown, with many more households ready to consider the purchase of big ticket items like new cars. The market may also have received a boost from an unlikely source. Some analysts are pointing to the payouts received due to the mis-selling of insurance policies on loans by banks. The average payout has been around £3,000 and it is thought that some customers are using this as a deposit on a new car. 

Car sales in the UK finished of the year with a bang, recording a whopping 23.76% sales increase in December. This made 22 consecutive months of growth. The growth experienced in the UK is in sharp contrast to the conditions being experienced across Europe. According to figures from the European industry body, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, car sales up to November 2012 fell by 2.8%. This completed 22 consecutive months of decline in what is almost the exact opposite of the UK situation. It is estimated that total figures for 2013 in Europe will show a 7.8% drop from 2012, which will be the sixth straight year of decline in the European market. 

Commenting on the UK results, SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: "With its best year since a pre-recession 2007, the UK new car market has helped stimulate the country's economic recovery. While the European market is only now showing signs of improvement, the UK has consistently outperformed the rest of Europe, with 22 consecutive months of growth. The 10.8% increase in 2013 reflects the attractive financial offers available, as well as increased demand for more technologically advanced new cars. We expect new car registrations to remain stable in 2014 as customers return to a more regular replacement cycle."

 

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