Fleet News

Sales rocket as prices fall

DEMAND for new cars rocketed last month as new reports show UK car prices are now among the lowest in Europe.

During June, the new car market rose by 15.8% year-on-year to 240,174 units, a new record for the month. Fleet registrations jumped 14.9% to 103,702, while business sales to sub-25 vehicle fleets rose 18.8% to 24,859.

Together, fleet and business sales accounted for 53.6% of the new car market last month. Private car sales were 111,613, a rise of 16.1% year-on-year.

For the year to date, fleet sales are down 1.5% at 549,734, while business sales are up 6% to 132,676. Private registrations are up just 0.1% at 665,075.

Overall, the new car market is now on a par with 2002's all-time record of 2,563,631 sales, although the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) believes that by the end of the year, the market will be 4.4% down at 2,450,000.

By the end of the year, diesel is expected to account for 29% of overall sales, or 710,000 units. However, last month 31.6% of sales were diesels.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said: 'In a month in which independent sources position UK car prices as the second lowest in Europe, it is great to see such a strong June total.'

Among the fleet sales winners was Vauxhall, which enjoyed a record volume for fleet sales and took first place overall for the third time this year. Its van sales were up 59% from 2,808 last year to 4,466.

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