Fleet took the lion’s share of new car registrations in April, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
In all, 142,322 new cars were registered in April with 80,512 attributed to fleet and business equating to 56.6% of the overall market.
However, when compared to April 2011, fleet and business registrations were down approximately 4% with 83,905 units registered this time last year.
Year-to-date, the figures reveal there have been 379,187 new car registrations attributed to fleet and business compared to 391,639 during the same period in 2011.
Overall, the market over the January-April period rose 1.4% or 9,796 units to 705,878 units and the SMMT has revised upwards its full year 2012 forecast to 1.948 million units, a modest net 0.4% rise in volumes over 2011's 1.941 million units. Further 2.6% growth, to 1.999 million units, is forecast for the 2013 market.
The SMMT said that April and year-to-date volumes were lifted by recovery in the private market, up 14.8% in the month and 7.3% in the year-to-date.
"A strong April new car market has raised confidence across the UK motor industry with registrations increasing 3.3%," said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.
"We are seeing a steady increase in consumer confidence with growth in private demand, boosted by the arrival of a raft of new products. SMMT has increased its full year forecast to 1.95 million units, putting the market marginally ahead of 2011, indicating a period of relative stability."
Small car demand (Mini and Supermini) rose strongly in April, as too did volumes of Dual Purpose segment cars. The Executive and Sports Car markets also rose, showing diverse market growth across vehicle segments.
The Ford Fiesta was the best-selling model in April and over the first four months of 2012.