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UK new car market down in January

NFDA 05/02/2018

“The new car market continues to perform in line with expectations, down -6.3% in January. On the used vehicle side, franchised retailers continue to see a buoyant market, which is worth over £65 billion a year*”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, commenting on the latest SMMT’s new car registration figures.

In January 2018, new passenger car registrations in the UK were down by 6.3% to 163,615 units. Alternative fuel vehicles saw an encouraging growth of 23.9% to 9,020 units and a market share of 5.5%. Sales of petrol cars rose by 8.5% while diesel saw a decline of -25.6%. SUVs saw a significant 6.6% increase and reached a record market share.

Robinson continued, “The sector performed extremely well in last year’s first quarter thanks to a number of factors including the new vehicle excise duty which came into force in April which explains this correction in the market.

“The alternative fuel vehicle market continues to grow, up 23.9% in January. The increase in petrol sales indicates that many motorists are switching fuel type from diesel to petrol, although depending on the type of driver Euro 6 modern diesel may still represent the most efficient option.

“Going forward, it is critical that consumers are supported by consistent, clear information to help them make informed purchasing decisions.”

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Notes to Editors:

*Figure obtained by SMMT sales figures and BCA price data from 2016

About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.