Car sales in Britain are booming: The number of machines driving off forecourts has risen for the 30th month running, which bumps up the number of cars sold in the UK to 1.5 million so far this year.
More than this, new car sales jumped 9.4 per cent in August – typically a quiet month for sales – compared to last year, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) that show that 72,163 vehicles were registered during the month.
This rise in sales in August is surprising as it comes ahead of new registrations being released in September – a month when many buyers queue up to get models with the latest number plate. So far this year total sales have increased by a substantial 10.1 per cent over 2013, however, the SMMT warns that this sustained growth cannot last indefinitely and expects growth to slow.
The UK’s performance in the context of Europe is particularly impressive, with growth consistently ahead of the rest of the EU for the past two years.
Two of the key factors believed to be behind the current increase in sales are the continued availability of cheap finance, low interest rates and the increasingly economical new models available.
However, the strength of UK sales is still susprising. Chief executive of the SMMT, Mike Hawes, told the Telegraph: “The UK’s performance in the context of Europe is particularly impressive, with growth consistently ahead of the rest of the EU for the past two years.
“As the UK market starts to find its natural level, we expect to see the growth level off during coming months”, continued Mr Hawes. Automotive leader at Deloitte David Raistrick added: “With the possibility of deflation looming in the Eurozone, this could potentially lead to the recovery in some European markets being slowed further, as consumers delay making purchases in the expectation of price reductions.”
Picture: Sven Krautwald