CAR SALES had their best September since 2004 as rising consumer confidence encouraged spending on big ticket items.
There were 425,861 new cars registered last month, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which is 5.6 per cent higher than last September.
This follows a climb of 9.4 per cent year on year in August and marks the 31st consecutive month of expansion in the new car market.
September is usually a busy month because of the new registration plate which gives cars a greater resale value.
“Fundamental support is clearly coming from the positive combination of high consumer confidence, rising employment and the help to purchasing power coming from markedly lower inflation overall,” said economist Howard Archer from analytics provider IHS.
“Furthermore, there are clearly a significant number of people who are now more willing or able to buy a new car, having held off for an extended period from replacing their old car due to difficult and uncertain economic circumstances.”
Topping the car sales table was the Ford Fiesta, which was followed by the Focus.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “September’s strong performance underlined the continuing robust ness of the UK new car market, particularly in the context of last September’s bumper volumes.” However, he believes car sales have begun to level off to a natural level.
“Demand for the new 64-plate has been boosted by intensifying confidence in the UK economy, with consumers attracted by a wide range of exciting, increasingly fuel-efficient, new cars. In the months since March – which saw an 18 per cent jump in registrations – the growth has shown signs of levelling off as the market starts to find its natural running rate.”