New car sales off to strong start in 2015

Another rise in new car sales last month saw 2015 get off to strong start with registrations 6.7% up at 164,856 units – the strongest January since 2007 and a record 35th consecutive month of growth.

Company car registrations were particularly strong – up 18.1% on January 2014 – while 4,598 alternatively-fuelled vehicle registrations was a 60.8% rise.

Mike Hawes, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive, said: “These figures mark an encouraging start to the year after a very strong 2014, with a strikingly robust company car market as businesses take advantage of the attractive finance offers currently available.

“January saw increased uptake of both petrol and diesel cars, while demand for alternatively-fuelled vehicles continued its surge with registrations rising by 60.8%. Registrations of plug-in vehicles were particularly strong as consumers responded to a greater choice of makes and models delivering lower running costs.

“Last year’s 9.3% rise in the overall market was fuelled by stronger than expected economic confidence and, for 2015, we expect to see some levelling off throughout the year. Demand is back to pre-recession levels.”