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UK car registrations rise in October despite market fears

Brexit and Dieselgate fail to halt a modest growth in new car registrations, although private and diesel sales drop

Words ByJimi Beckwith

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Ford Fiesta

Car registrations in the UK rose during October, surpassing last year’s figures by 1.4%.

Official industry statistics show that registrations have continued to grow throughout the year. A total of 2,330,663 new cars have been registered in 2016 so far, a figure that’s 56,000 higher than at the end of October last year, despite Brexit concerns and the fallout from the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal.

However, diesel and private sale registrations have fallen, which suggests that the public’s confidence in diesel – and in new cars overall – may have been hit.

Diesel car registrations were 2.4% down on October 2015, while petrol registrations climbed by nearly 5%. Alternative fuel vehicles – hybrids, electric cars and the like – rose strongly, up by 12.4% to 75,987 as more manufacturers introduced new models and soaked up lost diesel registrations.

The fleet sector continues to bolster the overall market, with fleet registrations up by 4.2% in October to 96,440.

This years saw the third October in a row where new car registrations have stalled, with numbers staying broadly static since 2013 despite the introduction of the new 66 registration plate.

Of the best-selling models during October, Nissan’s Juke and the Kia Sportage had a good month, featuring in the top 10 sellers at ninth and 10th places respectively, despite being outside the top 10 for 2016 so far.

The top eight sellers last month all feature in the top 10 for the year-to-date, with the Ford Fiesta comfortably on top – its 7,806 registrations in October propel it past 100,000 for the year.

The best-selling cars in October 2016:

  1. Ford Fiesta – 7,806

  2. Vauxhall Astra – 4,985

  3. Nissan Qashqai – 4,945

  4. Volkswagen Golf - 4,520

  5. Audi A3 – 4,281

  6. Ford Focus – 4,096

  7. Vauxhall Corsa – 3,906

  8. Volkswagen Polo – 3,519

  9. Nissan Juke – 3,503

  10. Kia Sportage – 3,471

The UK's best-selling cars of 2016 so far are:

  1. Ford Fiesta - 103,945

  2. Vauxhall Corsa - 68,831

  3. Ford Focus - 61,233

  4. Volkswagen Golf - 59,474

5 Nissan Qashqai - 55,238

  1. Vauxhall Astra - 49,756

  2. Volkswagen Polo - 47,161

  3. Mini hatchback - 39,913

  4. Mercedes-Benz C-Class - 37,918

  5. Audi A3 - 37,521


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