UK car registrations drop by 4.4% in 2011

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Car Rental News - 09/01/2012


Automobile registrations in the UK fell 4.4 per cent last year, new statistics have revealed.

The figure comes via the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), whose recent report showed that only 1.94 million cars were registered in 2011, marking the lowest figure seen in the United Kingdom in more than 10 years and only the second occasion in which the number dipped below 2 million since 2000. The highest ever number recorded was 2.58 million in 2003.

The SMMT report also showed that whilst auto production rose sharply in the last six months that the demand for new vehicles has dropped substantially; it was down 3.7 per cent at the end of 2011 when compared to December of 2010.

Despite the news, the 4.4 per cent drop seen in 2011 was a softer blow than the 1.92 million registrations initially predicted by the SMMT. The industry body’s chief executive, Paul Everit, called 2011 a “challenging” year for the auto industry and said that 2012 would also see tough conditions as a result of weak economic growth.

Among new registrations, officials said the shift toward smaller vehicles had become more apparent, with the Ford Fiesta coming in as the most popular new car in the UK, whilst the small-in-size Volkswagen Golf was the best selling diesel car.

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