Steve Jackson, chief car editor at Glass’s, analyses the underlying factors influencing February’s sale figures.
February new car sales
- New car market grows 8.4% in February, with 83,395 units registered.
- Demand from private customers drives increases, up 22.6%, with fleet demand down 1.4%.
- Registrations of alternatively-fuelled vehicles up by a fifth in the month.
FEBRUARY SMMT registration statistics show private customers have been incentivised back in to the market with low interest rates, deposit incentives and a selection of new models on offer.
As private buyers underpin February sales it is clear the consumer is the market that the manufacturers can currently influence the most to increase volume in the first quarter of 2016.
There are no doubts from Glass’s that retail demand will also be the major influencer in the March 2016 figures, the largest new car plate-change month of the year.
Fleet, however, has fallen marginally by 1.4% during the month and is down 1.2% year to date.
Post-recession fleet has returned to pre-recession volumes and now is largely a numbers game. Manufacturers are competing for a share of a finite, yet important market of fixed-term contract company car drivers via BIK advantages and financial incentives.
See below for the SMMT figures for February.