Britain’s new car market topped 2.5 million vehicles last month – the first time the figure has been reached in November.
The 184,101 vehicles registered in the month was 2.9% higher than in November 2015, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), that compiles the figures.
So far in 2016 a total of 2,514,764 cars have been registered, putting the market on course to beat the 2015 full-year total of 2633,503.
Fleet sales are still driving the market, the sector up 5.1%t in November as the private market slipped by 1.2%. Petrol-powered cars also appear to be making a comeback, up by 7.9% as diesels slid 2.9%.
The biggest growth in percentage terms, however, is coming from alternatively-fuelled vehicles, which includes electric and hybrid cars. Demand for these surged 25% in November with 6,663 vehicles registered. While such vehicles still form a very small part of the overall market at 3.6%, they are showing great momentum with 82,650 buyers having so-far chosen the alternative-fuelled route in 2016.
SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes believes the latest advanced technology and cutting-edge designs are continuing to attract buyers into showrooms.
“It’s encouraging to see that alternatively fuelled vehicles, although still a small proportion of the market, have seen strong growth this month achieving a record market share,” he says.
“Long-term government support and incentives are essential if these vehicles are to command a larger market share in the future,” Hawes adds.
Earlier this month the SMMT predicted this year’s market would finish 1.7% up on 2015 with 2.678 million units registered, but in 2017 and 2018 will dip by 5% and 1.3%.