News and views from the automotive industry.

Was 2016 another record breaking year for new car sales?

The number of new cars sold in the UK has hit an all time high, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). It is the fifth year in a row annual registrations have climbed – rising to almost 2.7 million in 2016.

Ten out of the last 12 months have experienced higher sales than previous years, with December one of the few exceptions. A fall of 1.1% in the final month of 2016, with just over 178,000 new cars registered, was not enough to prevent the record breaking year.

According to the SMMT, buyers were drawn by a range of new car models and attractive finance deals – pushing sales up by 2.3% on 2015. This year, nearly 70 new car models are expected to be launched, prompting analysts to predict another competitive 12 months.


What were the best selling vehicles of 2016?


Fleet vehicles were responsible for the majority of growth last year, as demand rose to a record 1.38 million. However, the private market remains buoyant, with a historically high 1.2 million buyers registering a new car in 2016. Low interest rates and flexible payment options are said to be driving demand.

Diesel and petrol cars continued to be the most popular fuel types, with a market share of 47.7% and 49% respectively. However, alternatively fuelled vehicle (AFV) sales have risen by 22.2% over the past 12 months. Hybrids, in particular, experienced strong growth, and more than 10,000 motorists chose to go fully electric.


Best sellers of 2016
1 Ford Fiesta 120,525
2 Vauxhall Corsa 77,110
3 Ford Focus 70,545
4 Volkswagen Golf 69,492
5 Nissan Qashqai 62,682
6 Vauxhall Astra 60,719
7 Volkswagen Polo 54,448
8 MINI 48,328
9 Mercedes-Benz C Class 44,184
10 Audi A3 43,808


To read more about new car registration figures for 2016, visit the SMMT website.


How do you protect new car buyers and increase profits?


Attractive finance deals have been cited as one of the driving forces behind a strong private car sales market.  GAP insurance would, therefore, provide both car retailers and buyers with a variety of benefits. Buyers can protect their investment so, in the event of a total loss, they are not left out of pocket. And retailers can increase profits on each new car sale, as well as help establish an ongoing relationship with their customers.


The popular add-on product has recently undergone regulation changes by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to better protect the consumer and increase competition. The introduction of a sale deferral period and prescribed pre-sale information has helped to drive up sales, largely due to increased confidence in the protection GAP insurance provides.


To learn more about the FCA changes to GAP sales rules, download our FREE eBook –

FCA Regulation Changes: have they affected GAP sales?

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