SMMT figures show record year for new car registrations

A record number of new cars were registered by UK drivers in 2016, according to new figures published by the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Some 2,692,786 new cars were registered in total, up 2.3 per cent on 2015 figures, making 2016 the fifth consecutive year of growth. The rise was driven by the availability of affordable finance and a vast range of new car models coming onto the market, driving purchases of new cars.

Dealers will welcome the news that the market is looking stronger than ever and may use the opportunity to expand or take on more new cars for their forecourts. Any changes to stock or expansion plans need to be included in updates to motor trade insurance to avoid out-of-pocket expenses should cars be damaged or stolen from dealerships.

A total of 44 brands now offer some 400 new car models and there are a further 70 new models planned for release in the coming year, ensuring there is always something new on the market for those keen to keep on top of new designs and the latest specifications.

SMMT’s chief executive, Mike Hawes, commented: “Despite 2016’s political and economic uncertainties, the UK’s new car market delivered another record performance as car makers offered an incredible range of innovative and high tech models.

“2017 may well be more challenging as sterling depreciation raises the price of imported goods but, with interest rates still at historic lows and a range of new models arriving in 2017, there are still many reasons for consumers to consider a new car in 2017.”