New car registrations experience longest ever period of growth

Volkswagen Golf hatchback 2013 front static
Credits: Pete Gibson
5 Jun, 2014 12:15pm Chris Ebbs

May represents the 27th month of year-on-year rises, beating previous record from 1989

New car registrations in the UK have increased for the 27th month running, marking a new record.

A total of 194,032 cars were registered for May, a 7.7 per cent rise on figures from May 2013, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

This latest increase is the 27th month that there's been a year-on-year rise, beating the previous record of 26 months set between May 1987 and June 1989.

The figures for May also mean that registrations for the year have already hit 1,058,974, which represents an 11.6 per cent increase on the same time last year.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "Over the past 27 months, increasingly-confident consumers have been drawn to some fantastic new products, attracted by innovative technologies, improved fuel economy and competitive deals helping make a new car more affordable.

The Ford Fiesta continues to dominate the best-sellers table, sitting in top spot again for the month. The Volkswagen Golf managed to sneak in to second place, closely followed by the Vauxhall Corsa in third spot.

In the decade from 2004 to 2013, the number of cars registered with alloy wheels as standard jumped from 65 per cent to 87.1 per cent, while air conditioning was standard on 95.4 per cent  of cars in 2013 compared to just 75.3% in 2004.

For more details on the best-selling cars in the UK, check out our full car registrations round-up here.

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Loads of cars are being 'registered' but very few are being sold in the traditional sense. The amount of young kids running around in £15k cars on pay as you go deals is amazing. It's just another financial that's going to burst in a couple of years time with catastrophic consequences for the motor trade.

Yes, the PCP/PCH bubble. I am really looking forward to a couple of years when all these cars get handed back making the residuals bomb. All the dealers will get pulled up for mis-selling finance (it will make PPI look like small change).

I've tried to buy a car recently, with cash but dealers are not willing to offer a good deal because there are enough mugs signing up for PCP. I'll see them in a couple of years and have some fun.

Forgive me if I sound a bit thick here but what's wrong with a PCP finance agreement?

If the Fiesta was the best selling car, why is there a picture of a Golf to celebrate this occasion?

The Fiesta is the top-selling car every month - we just try to add some variety. We only have so many photographs of Fiestas!

To spare everyone the horrid trout-pout duck-lipped front of a fester!

PCP is OK in some circumstance - like if you are getting a company car allowance in lieu of opting out of a company car as long as you don't put down much deposit. Although PCH/leasing might work out better.

If you go and trade in your car and add more cash as a deposit to get lower monthly payments then you have burned that deposit and will have a large amount of money to find at the end of the finance period, or you walk away with nothing. (remember you had a deposit 3 years before)

Dealers are using PCP to upsell. I warned the salesman at the beginning that I wasn't interested in PCP, he still printed off a quote hoping I would be stupid enough to be tempted. I walked immediately.

Typical Auto Express. They are a VW slave. With "friendly" support from Axel Springer AG Germany.

It's not that bad. It's better than the Golf.

I think you should use Qashqais from now on. They're a bit non-conventional aren't they?

I get where you're coming from but in many cases that I can think of it works out better, especially if customers want a new car every while. Plus there's no worry of depreciation.
I suppose it's not an efficient option for those who want to keep their car. Those should definitely opt for HP.

Ok, real world, you trade in your car dealer gives you £3500, you agree to monthly payments based on that trade in deposit. Balloon payment stays the same. 3 years later, you can hand it back and take a new car.... Ok, but where has your deposit gone? Now you have no car to trade in, so you either have to find some cash or accept much higher monthly payments. If the dealer business manager does not explain this in writing they are mis selling the finance.