The UK new car market experienced modest growth in October following the plate change month of September, according to The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 180,168 cars were driven off the UK’s forecourts last month as registrations grew 1.4%.

Fleet registrations drove the growth, with demand rising 4.2%, while registrations to private buyers fell by 1.1% as the market, currently at an all-time high, stabilises after a lengthy period of growth. Alternatively fuelled vehicles continued to grow in popularity, rising 12.4% in October and 23.3% in the year so far to 75,987 registrations – the highest ever level achieved in the first 10 months of the year. Year-to-date performance for the overall market remains ahead by 2.5%, with 2,330,663 new cars registered.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “September’s number plate change is always a hard act to follow so the market’s growth in October, albeit moderate, is welcome news. Low interest rates, affordable finance packages and a range of exciting new models helped attract buyers into showrooms.”