“It is encouraging to see that new car registrations were up an impressive 5.3% in March following demand for the new 16-plate change” said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers across the UK, commenting on the SMMT’s new car registration figures.
New car sales figures released today show March registered 518,707 units – marking the largest plate change month since 1999. Overall this quarter in 2016 has seen a 5.1% increase with 771,780 units registered to date.
Robinson continued, “Consumer confidence has been rising as a result of a recovering economy. Fewer concerns about unemployment and the improvements of household finances due to low inflation and pay rises have all helped to encourage consumers to buy new cars.
"The March market has been assisted by the new plate change which encourages consumers to replace their existing vehicle. In addition, strong manufacturer deals and low cost finance offers are boosting consumer confidence to buy.
“During the first few months of this year the UK Economy has remained strong as originally predicted. On the back of this, the car market has seen an increase of 2.9% in January, 8.4% in February and 5.3% in March compared to this time last year. We are pleased to see this growth has made a significant contribution to the UK Economy.
“In 2016, UK GDP seems to be set to increase by 2.2% and we are confident and hopeful that the automotive sector as well as the UK economy will continue to perform well throughout the remainder of the year”.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
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.