UK new car market levels off in July

Growth of just 0.1 per cent in July as private buyers think twice.


Britain’s new car market is slowing down – growth in July was just 0.1 per cent.

But the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), which compiles the UK’s new car registration figures, points out that year-to-date demand is still 2.8 per cent ahead of 2015, at 1m 599,159 cars.

1608_SMMT_chartThe SMMT had predicted at the start of the year that demand would level off, and chief executive Mike Hawes remains optimistic, while also reminding Government of the need to keep the industry strong.

“After a healthy start to 2016 and record registrations in 2015 the market is showing signs of cooling,” Hawes says.


“The automotive market is a vital part of the British economy and it’s important government delivers the economic conditions which instill business and consumer confidence – with low interest rates, attractive finance options and exciting new models coming to the showrooms, the market still has lots to offer customers,” he adds.

July’s total registrations of 178,523 cars was only 103 ahead of the same month in 2015. Following the trend of recent months, declining private purchases down 6.1 per cent, were offset by a fleet market up five per cent. The diesel and petrol split remained virtually even at 87,672 and 86,695 respectively, while registrations of alternatively fuelled vehicles, which includes electric cars, again jumped by almost 25 per cent, to 5,380.

Ford’s Fiesta continues to dominate the new car top 10 with its rival supermini the Vauxhall Corsa in second place. In July 7,990 Fiestas were registered, almost 2,400 ahead of the Corsa.



For the best independent and impartial car buying advice on the internet, always check with The Car Expert:

  • Subscribe to our newsletter for weekly tips and the latest offers from car manufacturers
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see our latest articles as soon as we publish them
  • Bookmark our site so you can check back regularly
Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

The Car Expert partners

Our commercial partners. Click on the logos for more information and special offers

UK new car market levels off in July 2
UK new car market levels off in July 3
UK new car market levels off in July 4
UK new car market levels off in July 5
UK new car market levels off in July 6
UK new car market levels off in July 7

Latest articles

Mini John Cooper Works GP revealed as two-seat ultra-hot hatch

Mini has revealed its most hardcore road car yet — the Mini John Cooper Works GP ultra-hot hatch, It boasts 306hp, a wild bodykit and only two seats.

Honda Civic upgraded for 2020 model year

Honda has rolled out a host of upgrades to its Civic hatchback, with a sportier look and improved interior quality.

Aston Martin DBX SUV is finally revealed

Aston Martin has unveiled the first SUV in its 106-year history, and is hoping the new £158K DBX model will boost the company's flagging sales.

Understanding your credit history and credit score

If you've watched TV lately, you'll have seen loads of ads talking about your credit score. But what is a credit score, and how important is it really?

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.

Be the first to know

Would you like to stay up to date with The Car Expert?