January car registrations best since 2005

6th February 2017

January car registrations best since 2005 (image credit: iStock/baranozdemir)

New figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have highlighted impressive annual growth in the UK's new car registration data for January 2017.

Vehicle sales achieved a 12-year high last month, with a total of 174,564 registrations. This marks a 2.9 per cent uplift from January 2016.

Private vehicle sales continued to make up the bulk of new car registrations, rising by five per cent year-on-year. Meanwhile, fleet demand for the year so far increased by 1.4 per cent.

Furthermore, alternative fuel vehicles achieved their highest ever market share of four per cent.

Looking forward, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes commented: "After record growth in 2016, some cooling is anticipated over the coming months, but provided interest rates remain low and the economy stable, the market is in a good position to withstand its short-term challenges."

Best sellers in the year to date are perhaps unsurprising to many, with perennial favourite the Ford Fiesta in the number-one position. The Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, Mercedes-Benz C Class and Vauxhall Astra completed the top five.

Natalie Brinkley, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, adds: "UK new car sales continue to go from strength to strength and it is an extremely positive occasion for the sector as a whole, with 2016 the strongest year on record since the economic downturn.

"This marks an impressive recovery for the UK automotive industry."