6 February 2017 (data for January 2017)

  • 174,564 new cars registered on British roads in January – rising 2.9% to the highest level since 2005.
  • Alternatively fuelled vehicle market share over 4% for first time, with registrations up by a fifth.

Monday 6 February 2017 The UK new car market achieved a 12-year high in January, according to figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 174,564 vehicles left showrooms last month – a 2.9% year-on-year uplift and the highest level since 2005.1

Significantly, however, the alternatively fuelled vehicle segment grew 19.9% to take a record 4.2% market share2 –  the first time 4% has been surpassed. Across other fuel types there was a mixed picture with diesel registrations down -4.3% but new car registrations of petrol cars grew 8.9%.

Across the market, private motorists led the growth, registering 76,729 new cars – up 5.0%. Fleet demand also grew marginally by 1.4%, while business registrations fell by -1.0%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “2017 got off to a good start in the new car market, buoyed by a great range of new models which are safer and cleaner than ever before. It’s encouraging to see alternatively fuelled vehicles benefiting from this positive growth, reaching a record market share. After record growth in 2016, some cooling is anticipated over the coming months, but provided interest rates remain low and the economy stable, the market is in a good position to withstand its short-term challenges.”



1.) 181,474
2.) The previous monthly AFV market share record was 3.6%, achieved in January and November 2016.

The attached tables show registration figures for Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands in detail. Providing that SMMT is cited as the source of this information, the figures may be quoted for editorial use only. Substantial reproduction needs specific approval by SMMT. February new car registration figures will be released on 6 March 2017.

About SMMT and the UK automotive industry
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is one of the largest and most influential trade associations in the UK. It supports the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad, promoting a united position to government, stakeholders and the media.

The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy accounting for more than £71.6 billion turnover and £18.9 billion value added. With some 169,000people employed directly in manufacturing and 814,000 across the wider automotive industry, it accounts for 12.0% of total UK export of goods and invests £2.5 billion each year in automotive R&D. More than 30 manufacturers build in excess of 70 models of vehicle in the UK supported by more than 2,000 component providers and some of the world’s most skilled engineers.

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