Record new car registrations in 2015

New car registrations hit at an all-time high in 2015, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

A record 2.63 million new vehicles were registered last year, a six per cent increase on 2014, as buyers took advantage of lower petrol prices, the better availability of credit and a general growth in consumer confidence.

The data suggests a bright picture for the car dealership sector as a whole. If you are expanding or buying in additional stock to take advantage of the stronger market, be sure to check your motor trade insurance and road risks insurance is up to date and adequate for your needs.

The new record in car registrations breaks the previous record set in 2003 before the financial crisis, when 2.58 million new vehicles were registered. It also included an eight per cent increase in December, which is usually a quiet month for car sales in the run-up to Christmas.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes told the Financial Times that the increase was being powered by stronger consumer confidence combined with high employment, wages and cheaper fuel prices at the pump.

He said: “It is the same story we have been talking about throughout the year. That level of confidence . . . is certainly fuelling the market.”

The UK is also proving to be a good market for car manufacturers because the euro has fallen in value against the pound.

The SMMT data showed the most bought brand was Ford which increased its lead over second-placed Vauxhall. The company predicts a second record year of sales during 2016 and forecast that up to 2.8 million vehicles could be sold in the UK this year.

The SMMT said the car market was likely to be “broadly stable” over the coming 12 months, or there could be a small dip.