A modest decline to 405,000 units had been expected in this key 'plate change' month, but volumes were actually the best since 2004 – when the market went on to record a full year total of 2.567 million units, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Total year-to-date registrations up 2% to 1,940,515 units. Diesel registrations rose to 167,031 units in September, up 6.7% on the same month last year.
Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive, said: “September has traditionally been the strongest month for registrations after March and this year it has exceeded expectations with 419,290 new cars motoring out of showrooms.”
Every sales type category posted growth in September. Private demand was up 1.5%, as market share modestly grew from 46.4% to 46.5%. Private volumes over the year-to-date improved by 7,983 units.
Most commentators had thought that any signs of weakness in the market would first appear in the private sector.