Data released last week by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows strong growth in UK car sales in the past sixth months, up over ten percent year on year. While an upturn in sales is to be expected as the economy continues to improve, there is particularly strong growth in demand for fuel efficient cars. Is green the new black when it comes to buying a new car? Car Ching breaks down the data.
The Alternative Scene
Demand for alternative fuel cars has significantly increased in the past six months, up 51% compared to the same period last year. Among the most popular vehicles are the Toyota Prius and Vauxhall Ampera hybrids, but newer models such as the Tesla Model S also saw a significant increase in demand, up 143%!
While alternative fuel cars still account for only 10% of total car sales, these increases far exceed the average increase in car sales, itself a robust 10.6%. This trend is expected to continue, even increase, in the coming years as electric vehicles become an increasingly common sight on the nation’s roads.
MPG on the Rise
The average mpg of a new car has been increasing year on year, reaching a record 57.4mpg in 2014. While technological advances and the increasing number of alternative fuel cars accounts for some of this increase, there is also a part to be played by the increasing demand for smaller, fuel efficient cars. The Ford Fiesta is far and away the county’s bestselling vehicle, selling over 11,000 models in June alone. The Vauxhall Corsa was the second bestselling car, with models such as the VW Polo, VW Golf, Fiat 500 and Audi A3 – all extremely fuel-efficient cars – finding a place in the top 10.
While sports-cars and dedicated off-roaders have much lower sales targets and are unlikely to ever make the top ten, the desire for cars that will reduce the cost of motoring and the driver’s carbon footprint is clear.
What car would you like to buy next? Will your decision be driven by fuel-economy? Perhaps you will be tempted to buy your first – or even second – alternative fuel car?