Record half-year figures for UK new car market

The new car market in the UK has recorded its best-ever half-year performance over the last six months, according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The SMMT revealed that 1,420,636 new cars were sold in the UK during the first six months of 2016. This represented growth of 3.2 per cent compared to the previous six-month period and was also the best half-year performance ever recorded by the new car market.

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The SMMT figures showed that new petrol and diesel vehicle sales grew by 3.0 and 2.3 per cent respectively, while alternatively fuelled cars (AFVs) — such as electric and hybrid models — grew by a massive 21.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2015. Furthermore, the growth meant that AFVs now account for around 3.2 per cent of the overall new vehicle market in the UK.

Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the SMMT, said of the record-breaking figures: “It is far too soon to determine whether the referendum result has had an impact on the new car market.

“The first six months saw strong demand at record levels but the market undoubtedly cooled over the second quarter. It’s important government takes every measure to restore business and economic confidence to avoid the market contracting in the coming months.”