Car sales surge to new record as buyers welcome plate change – Telegraph.co.uk

Posted: Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Car sales in Britain have hit a new record with buyers snapping up the most vehicles ever in the month of March.

Sales rose 5.3pc to 518,707 as motorists eager to have cars with the latest registration plate flocked to dealerships.

As well as being the strongets performance for March, data from industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed it was second-best all-time month for car sales.

It was also the best single month since 1998, when vehicle registration plates began to be issued twice a year – in March and September – instead of an annual update.

As well as the registration plate change, Mike Hawes, chief executive of SMMT, attributed the sales surge to “continuing strong consumer confidence and low interest rates meaning attractive financial packages”.

He added: “The car replacement cycle is also kicking in with people replacing their car after three or four years.”

The UK motor industry is enjoying a renaissance at the moment, helped by the recent strength of sterling compared to the euro, which means car makers achieve higher profit margins in Britain. This results in them pushing cars into the UK market, creating competition for buyers and boosting the number of deals on offer.

Car sales in the UK rose for 43 consecutive months until October last year when they stalled. They have since returned to consistent growth.

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