The introduction of the new 54-number plate identifier is expected to generate around £5.7 billion worth of business in September, with 440,000 new cars registered this month.
Since the industry moved to a twice yearly plate change, September has typically taken the lion’s share of annual registrations accounting for 17.7% of the total market. However, a March market of 466,955 units means that September is likely to take silver this year.
Christopher Macgowan, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive, said: ‘Despite recent increases in interest rates the UK economy continues to support a healthy new car market.
‘The breadth of new models and competitive prices mean that there is a new car to suit every taste and budget.
‘The market is neck-and-neck with last year’s record total and with four months to go, it’s probably too close to call.’
Car sales hit an all-time record in 2003, reaching 2,579,050, while fleet sales topped one million for the seventh year running.
Fleet NewsNet will reveal how the September registrations bonanza has gone in a special report to be published early in October.
March and September new car registrations