UK car buyers not put off by ‘unlucky’ 13-plate

April 9, 2013 | By | In News

It seems UK new car buyers aren’t superstitious, with the launch of the new 13-registration plate attracting customers to showrooms.

In fact, a total of 394,806 vehicles were sold in March, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), making it the 13th consecutive month of rising new car sales.

This is despite a recent survey showing that 32 per cent of motorists consider themselves superstitious, with a quarter stating that they wouldn’t buy a car registered with the traditionally unlucky number 13.

The figures are in stark contrast with the rest of Europe, which has suffered a 10.5 per cent drop in sales across EU countries.

The UK figures are well ahead of industry expectations and as a result a full year forecast of 2.06million vehicles is being predicted.

Mike Baunton, SMMT interim chief executive, said: "Despite ongoing economic concerns, consistent monthly growth in the market is an encouraging sign of returning consumer confidence as motorists are attracted to forecourts by new models and the latest technologies."

The figures were also boosted by the rise in the number of companies updating their fleets.

Small, fuel-efficient cars dominated the sales chart, with the Ford Fiesta taking the top spot at 22,748 sales. The Vauxhall Corsa leapfrogged the popular Ford Focus to second place, racking up 16,169 units sold.

However, sales growth was not limited to small hatchbacks. All sectors saw growth in March except for luxury saloons.

Buyers are also returning to petrol engines, with diesels being outsold by 12.1 per cent. This is largely down to strong sales of economic city cars, which often make more economic sense, both in terms of retail cost and fuel economy, with a petrol motor.

While the growth is encouraging, the UK car market is still 12.1 per cent down on the 2007 pre-recession high.

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