Car registrations up for 18th month ahead of September plate change

Car registrations are up for the 18th successive month in the UK, according to new data from the SMMT, as the car market grows 10.9 per cent in August.

There were only 65,937 vehicles registered this month, as buyers prepare for the plate change in September. That month will typically account for 17 per cent of full year registrations.

August only accounted for 2.9 per cent of the full year market in 2012, the second smallest market of that year aside from February (both months before plate changes).

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist, IHS Global Insight:

Car manufacturers will be pleased with the way sales have gone so far in the UK in 2013 (particularly when compared with the generally very poor sales across Europe) and they will be encouraged by the current markedly improving UK economic environment and the recent substantial strengthening in consumer and business confidence.

This is reflected in the fact that the SMMT have recently raised their forecast for full year growth in car sales to 8.4%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive:

UK new car registrations have now risen consecutively for a year and a half. Private and fleet buyers are clearly capitalising on attractive deals and new technologies against a backdrop of increasing economic confidence.