The improving new car market, up 3.4% in May with a growth in the private segment of 10.1%, demonstrates solid demand and increased consumer spending in the motor retail sector.

New passenger car registrations grew by 3.4% to 192,649 units in the UK in May. Year-to-date, the market is now -6.8% down from last year. Diesel saw a decline of -23.6%, while petrol grew by 23.5%. Positively, registrations of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) rose by 36.1%.

We are encouraged by the second consecutive month of growth for the new car market but it is important to remember that we are comparing these figures with a weak May last year which was affected by a number of external factors including the General Election and April’s VED* changes.

The sustained performance of AFVs, up 36.1% in May, presents an opportunity for franchised dealers to be leaders in this growing segment of the market.

Going forward, although the market is expected to remain at high levels, we need to be aware of the forthcoming WLTP** test coming into effect in September and we are currently working to improve industry understanding of the regulation.

If you would like to receive the monthly new car registration figures please contact