2016 saw new car sales in the UK reach an all-time high for the second consecutive year, but stark warnings have been issued for this year.
New statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have revealed that 2.69 million cars were registered in the UK last year, up 2.3 per cent on 2015.
SMMT‘s chief executive Mike Hawes attributes this to the popularity of new technologies and a latent demand for new cars built up during the recession.
Despite this, Hawes has issued a warning that sales this year could see a decline of as much as six per cent, but reassures this would not represent a collapse in the market and is still an “incredibly high level”.
Eighty-five per cent of cars sold in the UK are imported from overseas, and following the EU referendum and devaluation of the pound the prices of these cars are beginning to rise.
Hawes added: “We have to recognise that growth can’t be inexorable. There is undoubtedly a levelling off.”
Petrol cars saw a market share increase from 48.8 per cent to 49 per cent, while alternatively-fueled vehicles saw a rise of 0.5 per cent.
Despite the recent scandal in which 482,000 diesel Volkswagen‘s were recalled due to illeagle parts, the company managed to secure two models in the top 10 selling cars this year including the Golf and Polo at four and seven respectively.
The most popular car last year was the Ford Fiesta, followed by the Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Focus.