Car registrations rev up ahead of busiest month

NEW CAR registrations continued to climb in August, marking the 18th straight month in which registrations have risen, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The number of new cars registered was up 10.9 per cent on August last year, and 10.4 per cent more cars have been registered in the eight months of the year so far than in the first eight months of 2012.

Despite the jump in new cars on the road, next month is likely to see an even bigger boom, with number plates changing in September.

New car registrations have now had a double-digit boost for the fifth month running.

Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, commented: “Ongoing robust private car sales in August is very encouraging, and it adds to the evidence that UK consumers are currently prepared to spend despite the squeeze on their purchasing power”.

Registrations of alternative-fuel vehicles, while still low in comparison to others, have grown considerably in the past 12 months.

The cars, which are mostly hybrid and electrically powered, saw a 41.4 per cent boost from August 2012. The non-traditional vehicles now hold a 1.4 per cent market share, up from 1.1 per cent in the same period.