UK's new car market continues to grow

The first six months of 2015 represented an all-time record high for new car registrations.

That's according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) who confirmed that this July marked the 41st consecutive month of increases, thanks to prevailing economic confidence combined with low interest rates and attractive finance deals. A more modest increase in July however is suggestive of a more stable second half of the year as demand levels.

178,420 new cars were registered in July - a rise of 3.2 per cent on the same month last year - with year-to-date registrations up 6.5 per cent to 1,555,309 units.

The top-selling segments so far this year have been the Supermini, Lower Medium (small family cars) and Dual Purpose (SUVs and crossovers). Volume growth in all three segments reflects a shift in buying habits over the past decade, with the Supermini and Dual Purpose segments enjoying the biggest gains.

In particular, demand for Superminis has grown 22.7 per cent since 2005 - a result of consumers downsizing to smaller cars that offer significantly improved refinement, comfort and specification than their equivalents a decade ago. The market for Dual Purpose vehicles, meanwhile, has seen a staggering 88.5 per cent leap over the past decade as manufacturers have introduced new models to cater for buyers seeking more versatility.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, "While more moderate than in recent months, July's rise in new car registrations is good news, and indicative of what we expect for the remainder of 2015. With demand having reached a record high in the first half of the year, we anticipate more stable growth in the coming months."

The best selling car in July was Ford's ever-popular Fiesta, followed by the Ford Focus then the Vauxhall Corsa. Fourth spot was taken by the Volkswagen Golf with Nissan's Qashqai SUV close behind followed by the Audi A3, Volkswagen Polo, Fiat 500, Vauxhall Astra and Mercedes C-Class in tenth spot.