New Car Sales Reach Record High for January 2017

The first month of 2017 saw a 12-year high for new car registrations and this was driven by new car deals and discounts offered by UK car dealers up and down the country.

January 2017 new car registration Highlights

A total of 174,000 new cars registered for the road in January – An increase of 2.9% compared to 2016

Alternatively fuelled cars took a record share of the UK Car Market at 4% - An increase of 20 % compared to 2016.

The UK new car market achieved a 12-year high in January, according to figures published by SMMT. 174,564 cars hit UK roads in January – a 2.9% year-on-year uplift and the highest level since 2005.

Ford Fiesta starts 2017 as it ended 2016, as the best-selling car in the UK with 8,495 drivers opting for the popular hatchback.

Best-Selling new cars of 2017

Ford Fiesta Dominates Again

As you can see above – the Ford Fiesta retains the number 1 spot as the best-selling car in the UK. January also saw Volkswagen Group become the biggest car-maker in the world and this is in part down to the success of the VW Golf which was the second best-selling car for January. Ford are part of the third biggest car-maker in the world, which is where the Ford Focus lands on our list. German car-maker Mercedes were championed by the Mercedes C-class in January – Finishing just outside the top 3 in the list.

Places 5-8 are dominated by Vauxhall and Nissan with the Vauxhall Astra and Vauxhall Corsa finishing in fifth and Seventh place respectively. The Nissan Juke hit a new high in 6th place while the best-Selling SUV in the UK in the shape of the Nissan Qashqai finished in 8th Place. Audi and Kia rounded off the top 10 Best-Selling cars in the UK with the A3 and Sportage.

Private Car Buyers Lead Growth in January

Private Car Buyers led the growth in January, with 76,729 new cars registered – a rise of 5.0%. Fleet demand was up slightly by 1.4%, while business registrations fell by -1.0%.

Fleet sales led the way in 2016 by showing consistent growth month by month, while private registrations suffered mainly after diesel-gate (the diesel emissions scandal).

The increase in Private registrations shows confidence has been re-ignited amongst new car buyers in this sector. VW are winning back the trust of customers with compensation deals in the US and offering new buying incentives all over the world.

A Word from Mike

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “2017 got off to a good start in the new car market, buoyed by a great range of new models which are safer and cleaner than ever before. It’s encouraging to see alternatively fuelled vehicles benefiting from this positive growth, reaching a record market share. After record growth in 2016, some cooling is anticipated over the coming months, but provided interest rates remain low and the economy stable, the market is in a good position to withstand its short-term challenges.”