In charts: UK car registrations on the rise as PIIGS fight back

Billy Ehrenberg
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UK car registrations rose six per cent in March, compared to the same month last year (Source: Getty)

A sign of recovery? The EU is celebrating its nineteenth straight month of improving car sales, as the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain) pull their weight.

Elsewhere the UK continued to buy more cars than Germany despite its smaller population, although the rate of growth was slower at six per cent to Germany’s nine per cent.

The figures

Across the European Union 1.6m cars were registered in March, a 10.6 per cent increase on the figure for the same month last year. The UK was the biggest buying country, registering 492,774 cars, ahead of Germany (323,039), France (196,595), and Italy (161,303).

Portugal and Spain registered the fastest growth, at 41.8 per cent and 40.5 per cent respectively, figures above the three month averages for both countries (36.1 per cent and 32.2 per cent respectively).

Why it’s interesting

Germany has long held the mantle as Europe’s premier car manufacturer, but the UK has been wrestling back of late. Over the first quarter of 2015 the UK registered 734,588 cars to Germany’s 757,630, but this month’s figures perhaps show the current state of the UK economy.

Outside of that power struggle, strong growth from the PIIGS indicates a recovery of sorts, and the fact that the Netherlands was the only country to see a reduction in registrations shows a strong hand across the board.

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