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Britain’s new car market boom ‘slowing’

Published: 06 October 2014

Britain’s booming new-car market is showing signs of slowing down, according to trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The September 2014 plate change, which ushered in the new 64 reg, sparked a 6% rise on the same month a year earlier and was the biggest September since 2004.

But the rate of increase is slowing, said the SMMT. Chief executive Mike Hawes said: ‘In the months since March – which saw an 18% jump in registrations – the growth has shown signs of levelling off as the market starts to find its natural running rate.’

Britain’s new-plate rush: 425,861 cars sold

September remains the busiest time of year for buying new cars in Britain, a legacy of the old annual 1 August new registration date.

Since 2001, Brits now have two new plates a year - on 1 March and 1 September. Together these two months account for around a third of the new cars sold here every year.

So is there a panic going on?

Far from it. New-car sales are up 9.1% in the first nine months of the year, totalling 1,958,196 registrations.

And the strong September was the 31st consecutive month of growth in the UK.

Just don’t go expecting any double-digit growth in the months ahead.

The top 10 selling cars in the UK, January-September 2014

1) Ford Fiesta 106,930
2) Ford Focus 67,015
3) Vauxhall Corsa 62,693
4) VW Golf 58,664
5) Vauxhall Astra 47,482
6) Nissan Qashqai 38,920
7) VW Polo 36,772
8) Audi A3 35,596
9) Fiat 500 35,032
10) BMW 3-series 29,655

>> Do Britons still care about having a new reg plate? Click 'Add your comment' and let us know

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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