Spring car buying surge sees car sales hit 10-year high

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Bestselling cars

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that new car sales in the UK have risen again – for the 38th consecutive month. Thanks to a 5.1 per cent rise in new car registrations – up to 185,778 units – the volume of cars sold has hit a 10-year high.

The total number of cars sold in 2015 is currently up 6.4 per cent – with 920,366 models finding homes to date – showing high levels of consumer confidence with fleet and private buyers alike. Figures for the first quarter of the year show that sales have now hit record levels, with increased sales rates following the pattern of growth in new car registrations around general elections, according to the SMMT.

All but thee of the past nine elections saw spikes in new car sales in the three months before and after the public headed to the polls – with two of those exceptions coinciding with recessions in 1992 and 2010. The industry body predicts that sales will continue to grow following the election, as attractive finance deals, and low interest rates, continue to encourage consumers and businesses to splash out on new motors.

Chief executive of the SMMT, Mike Hawes, said: "Today's figures highlight the current strength of consumer confidence, even at a time of such political uncertainty.

"We are confident that the UK's new car market – so symbolic of economic mood – will continue to thrive, but long-term success will depend largely on economic and political stability in the months and years ahead."

In the car sales chart, the Ford Fiesta still tops the tables, with more than 10,000 models sold in April and over 50,000 finding homes over the year to date. The Ford Focus came in second place with more than 6,300 being sold in April, followed by the Volkswagen Golf.