Car leasing deals drive new car sales to highest level in 6 years

Cheap car leasing deals, the PPI mis-selling scandal and a desire for fuel efficient cars have pushed new car sales in the UK to their highest levels since 2007.

Inside a new car

Driving a new car. Photo: Rachel Titiriga

The latest research from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has found that new car registrations in 2013 have already exceeded 2012’s levels with one month of the year still to go.

Keep reading to find out more about the UK’s booming new car, car leasing and contract hire markets. We also reveal the UK’s top ten biggest selling cars in November 2013.

New car sales at highest level since the recession

The latest new car sales figures from the SMMT reveal that a total of 159,581 new cars were registered in November – a 7 per cent rise on the figure for November 2012. November’s figures took the total in the year so to 2,111,819 – a 9.9 per cent rise on the January-November total in 2012, and already in excess of the year-end 2012 figure of 2.04 million.

The Guardian reports that sales for this year are on course to total around 2.25 million, which would make this the best year for new registrations since the pre-recession year of 2007, when sales reached 2.4 million.

The SMMT’s chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: “Motorists have bought more than 2 million cars so far in 2013 – a tremendous success for the industry on the back of buoyant consumer confidence and innovative new products.

“With the UK economy looking increasingly positive, we can expect strong underlying demand for new cars to continue into 2014, with volumes set to match or surpass those seen this year.”

Alternatively fuelled vehicle sales – mainly electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf – have risen 16.4 per cent so far this year but account for as little as 1.4 per cent of the new-car market.

Many experts have pointed to the low cost of car leasing and contract hire deals as a main factor in new car sales. Around three quarters of consumers who privately buy new cars use some sort of dealer finance with many low or 0 per cent interest deals available.

The continuing PPI mis-selling scandal is also good for business, according to industry experts. With billions of pounds in compensation paid out so far, recipients of this cash are often using it as the deposit on a brand new car and using car leasing or contract hire to fund the rest.

Revealed: The UK’s top ten selling cars in November 2013

The Ford Fiesta continues to be Britain’s favourite car and is the biggest selling model of the year so far. Cheap car leasing deals, great fuel economy and a superb range of equipment are factors that are attracting buyers to the Fiesta which has now been Britain’s favourite new car for over a year.

The Ford Focus has jumped above the Vauxhall Corsa into second place in November’s list with the Astra also out-selling its sister model.

The UK’s biggest ten selling cars in November 2013 were:

  1. Ford Fiesta
  2. Ford Focus
  3. Vauxhall Astra
  4. Vauxhall Corsa
  5. Volkswagen Golf
  6. Vauxhall Insignia
  7. Nissan Qashqai
  8. Fiat 500
  9. BMW 3 Series
  10. Nissan Juke

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