New car sales in UK at highest since before recession


New car sales in the UK are at their highest level since before the recession, according to figures expected to be released later this morning - with the market boosted by the volume of PPI compensation payouts.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says it expects that new car sales rose by about 10.5 per cent to 2.26 million in 2013 -  the highest total since 2007. Private car buyers are driving the market, with new cars sales in this segment up 15 per cent; fleet buyers saw volume growth of just 4 per cent.

Behind the improvement, says the SMMT, is a strengthening in consumer confidence, the lower running costs of the very latest models, better access to attractive finance deals and the compelling appeal to buyers of certain new vehicles, such as the compact Range Rover Evoque, a runaway success.

The SMMT also said there was 'anecdotal evidence' that payouts for missold PPI payments were also 'a factor'. At a typical rate of £2,000 to 3,000 they may be  too small to, say, boost the housing market,  but are ideal as a deposit on a new car. The irony of crooked bankers helping rebuild an economy they wrecked will be lost on few, at least in public perceptions.

"With the UK economy looking increasingly positive, we can expect strong underlying demand for new cars to continue into 2014" said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, though he cautioned sales might only rise 1 per cent this year.

With a new generation Mini being built by BMW in Oxford, a Bentley SUV for Crewe, and a mark two Nissan Qashqai designed and built in Britain the SMMT also predicts UK production will, by 2017,  exceed its all-time record set back in 1972, of just under 2 million cars: That would make Britain second only to Germany in the size of its automotive industry.

UK Best sellers 2013 (to November)

1. Ford Fiesta

2. Ford Focus

3. Vauxhall Corsa

4. Vauxhall Astra

5. VW Golf

6. Nissan Qashqai

7. BMW 3-series

8. BMW 1-series

9. VW Polo

10. Peugeot 208

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific