UK fleet registrations continue to rise

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According to a recent study carried out by the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT), the number of fleet vehicles registered in March 2013 increased by an impressive 4% (190, 507units) when compared with the same time last year.

Overall car sales in the UK also escalated by 5.9% in March, with 394, 806 new purchases of the 13-plate vehicles being recorded. This took the grand total for Q1 of 2013 to 605,198 units, 51% of which were registered as a fleet vehicle.

Despite the fact that figures still remain 12.1% down on Q1 2007, these are the best findings since 2010 when the number of registered vehicles increased by 50,000 units as a result of the Scrappage Incentive Scheme.  SMMT interim chief executive Mike Baunton stated: “Despite on-going economic concerns, consistent monthly growth in the market is an encouraging sign of returning consumer confidence as motorists are attracted to forecourts by new models and the latest technologies.”

In fact, the total number of registered vehicles for Q1 2013 actually stands at 2.1% higher than what the SMMT predicted. Exceeding the estimated 2.057 million annual total therefore appears to be a possibility.

Richard Lowe, head of retail & wholesale at Barclays, said: “It might be considered unlucky by some but, not for motor dealers as the new 13 plate helped sales rise for the 13th consecutive month.

“The cost of a tank of petrol remains a huge burden for many, even for those with smaller, fuel efficient vehicles so the Government’s decision to scrap the planned duty rise, as part of last month’s Budget, will hopefully help keep car sales moving in the right direction”

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