FOLLOWING the announcement of today’s SMMT figures, which revealed a 5.3 per cent increase in the new car market in March, here are top 10 facts about the biggest ever month since the bi-annual plate change began in 1999.
1) Overall the supermini is the most popular car type – a trend which is as true in March 2016 as it was in March 2006, with more than a third of all buyers preferring compact driving.
2) The rapid rise of the SUV continues, with more than 85,000 of them newly registered in March – 140 per cent more than a decade earlier and accounting for around one in six new cars last month.
3) 10 years ago in March, just 1,354 hybrid and electric cars were registered. In the same month this year more than 17,000 left the UK’s showrooms – a staggering 12-fold, or 1,173 per cent increase.
4) More than a fifth of cars registered in March 2016 were white, following the trend set in 2015, with neutral tones black and grey in second and third place.
5) Not all Britons are quite so keen to follow the trend, with some 3,300 new cars specified in orange, 2,000 in yellow and more than 1,000 buyers choosing pink.
6) White was the favourite paint in March for superminis and small family cars, with larger executive models and sports cars more likely to come in black.
7) Londoners registered around a sixth (17 per cent) of all Britain’s new cars in March 2016, followed by the West Midlands (13 per cent) and the East (11 per cent).
8) Drivers in London registered the most new cars of any body type in March, except executive motors, which were most popular in the East of England.
9) Around 40 per cent more new cars were registered in Scotland and England during March 2016 than the same month five years ago, while demand in Wales grew 46 per cent and in Northern Ireland by more than a fifth.
10) Buyers of new cars in March can look forward to CO2 emissions of around 20 per cent lower than the average car on the road. In fact, average new car CO2 is at an all-time low of 121.4g/km – down 32.9 per cent compared with 15 years ago.