New car sales soar to six-year high
New car sales raced to a six-year high in 2013, the motor industry has announced.
A total of 2,264,737 new cars were registered in 2013 - a 10.8% rise on the 2012 figure and the best annual total since the pre-recession year of 2007, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.
The 2013 total was boosted by a 23.76% rise, to nearly 153,000, in sales in December - the 22nd successive month of increases.
On average, an additional 600 extra cars were registered per day in 2013 than in 2012. Private sales made up 1.07 million of the registrations last year - a rise of 15.6% on the 2012 share.
Both petrol and diesel-engined vehicle sales rose in 2013, but petrol's share of the market grew slightly - from 47.8% in 2012 to 48.8% in 2013 - while diesel's share dipped from 50.8% in 2012 to 49.8% in 2013. The share of the market by alternatively-fuelled vehicles remained flat 1.4%.
The supermini sector was the largest last year, accounting for nearly 36% of all sales.
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."
He went on: "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."
These were the best-selling models in 2013:
1. Ford Fiesta
2. Ford Focus
3. Vauxhall Corsa
4. Vauxhall Astra
5. Volkswagen Golf
6. Nissan Qashqai
7. BMW 3 Series
8. Volkswagen Polo
9. BMW 1 Series
10. Peugeot 208