Record growth as car sales stay in top gear

Once again the Vauxhall Corsa left the others in its wake in Scotland. Picture: PA
Once again the Vauxhall Corsa left the others in its wake in Scotland. Picture: PA
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Car sales accelerated further last month, with Scotland overtaking the wider UK after a slow start to the year.

The Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA) said new car registrations in February totalled 5,775 units, an increase of 15.3 per cent on the same month a year before.

The UK as a whole experienced an increase of 11.96 per cent with 76,958 units, passing a milestone by notching up three years of continuous growth.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said fleet buyers were driving demand.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “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 due for replacement. Over 2015, however, we are expecting a more stable market to emerge given there has already been an extended period of consistent growth.”

Fleet buyers increased registrations by 19.9 per cent, while the private market saw an increase of 3.4 per cent.

The UK car market’s sustained expansion is the longest ever seen, beating the previous record of 26 months set in the late 1980s. The number of new cars registered has risen every month since March 2012, as the UK continues to bounce back from the recession and consumer demand has been driven by exciting new products and attractive finance deals.

Sales north of the Border were down slightly in January before bouncing back in February, although the SMTA also predicts a flatter road ahead.

Douglas Robertson, chief executive of the SMTA, said: “We are delighted with this increase in February after the slight fall in figures for last month.

“February is traditionally a low volume month and we are pleased at the level of consumer confidence and look forward to seeing the increase continue in March. However, it is our belief that we will experience a levelling out over the rest of 2015.”


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