UK new car registrations hit 10-year high, SMMT reveals

New car registrations in the UK have hit a 10-year high, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT).

The data showed that 2,476,435 new cars were registered in the UK in 2014, the highest number in a calendar year since 2004. Overall the market grew by 9.3 per cent last year when compared to 2013, a far better performance than the EU average of 5.7 per cent.

This is the latest in a long-line of positive sets of figures from the SMMT, showing sustained growth in Britain’s motor trade industry. As individual traders, mechanics, garages and dealerships look to benefit from this upturn in activity – perhaps by taking on more stock, expanding their premises or hiring new staff – it is essential they consider the implication on their road risks insurance or combined motor trade insurance policy, which might need addressing so that it still provides the requisite level of cover.

In December 2014 alone the SMMT revealed that the market grew by 8.7 per cent on the year before, marking the 34th consecutive month of growth in the new car market. There was also huge growth for the plug-in car market, which saw volumes quadruple from 3,586 in 2013 to 14,498 in 2014.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, commented: “UK new car registrations returned to pre-recession levels in 2014, as pent-up demand from the recession years combined with confidence in the economy saw consumer demand for the latest models grow consistently and strongly.

“The year was particularly strong for alternatively-fuelled vehicles as increased choice, coupled with a growing desire for reduced costs and greater efficiency, resulted in a quadrupling of plug-in car registrations over 2013.”