Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Business News

Leap in new car sales fuels the rally


Britons splashed out on more new motors in August than a year earlier, in another sign of growing consumer confidence.

New car sales hit 65,937 last month, up 10.9 per cent on August 2012, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

This is the 18th successive month of year-on-year growth in car purchases, although the rate of growth moderated slightly from the 12.7 per cent growth in July.

There were 31,608 sales to private buyers in the month, up 12.8 per cent on a year earlier. Cars bought for firms’ fleets rose to 32,386, up 7.4 per cent on August 2012.

“New car registrations have now risen consecutively for a year and a half,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes. “Private and fleet buyers are clearly capitalising on attractive deals and new technologies against a backdrop of increasing economic confidence.”

The most popular new motor in August was the Ford Fiesta, which shifted 3289 units. This was followed by the Vauxhall Astra, with 2428. There have been 1,391,788 unit sales over the year to date in 2013, up 10.4 per cent on the first eight months of 2012. The SMMT forecast last month car sales over the year would hit 2.216 million.

August is always a slower month for car sales since buyers hold out for the new registration plates issued in September. Sales in August were 60 per cent lower than July.