The UK’s new car market grew by 8.4% in March, making it the biggest month since records began, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT).
The SMMT attributed the record performance to motorists seizing the chance to buy cars before the new vehicle excise duty rates came into force. Fleets were responsible for 261,930 of the 562,337 new cars registered in March – a 12.6% increase on the same month in 2016. SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes also highlighted that almost a quarter of a million new cars registered in March were diesels – an all-time high. The trade body has published a list of ten facts about the fuel, in response to recent criticism.
Elsewhere, the light commercial vehicle market declined slightly in March, with registrations falling 0.9% year-on-year. Some 63,000 LCVs were sold in March, with pick-ups and heavier vans proving popular. However, figures for smaller vans showed registrations of vehicles weighing less than 2.0 tonnes fell by 31.6%, while vans between 2.0-2.5 tonnes decreased by 4.0%.