7th January 2015
New car sales hit a 10-year high in 2014, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said.
The trade body said that 2.5m new cars were registered in the UK in 2014 – the most in a calendar year since 2004.
Last year was fourth-largest of all time; only 2002, 2003 and 2004 saw more cars registered.
In 2014 the market grew 9.3% over the previous year, ahead of the EU average of 5.7%.
UK remains second largest market in EU (behind Germany and ahead of France, Italy and Spain), and recorded second-largest growth of these top five EU markets.
There was huge growth in the plug-in car market, which saw volumes quadruple from 3,586 in 2013 to 14,498 in 2014.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “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. With a variety of new plug-in models expected in 2015, this area of the market will continue to grow significantly. For the market as a whole, we expect a more stable 2015 as demand levels off.”
The best-selling cars of 2014 were:
1. Ford Fiesta, 131,254
2. Ford Focus, 85,140
3. Vauxhall Corsa, 81,783
4. Volkswagen Golf, 73,880
5. Vauxhall Astra, 59,689
6. Nissan Qashqai, 49,909
7. Volkswagen Polo, 46,004
8. Audi A3, 45,581
9. Fiat 500, 44,005
10. Nissan Juke, 39,263