The 10 best selling new cars in the UK in 2015

One of 133,434 registrations - the Ford Fiesta was the best-selling car last year.

One of 133,434 registrations - the Ford Fiesta was the best-selling car last year. - Credit: supplied

New car sales reached an all-time high last year, official data has revealed today.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) announced that more than 2.63 million cars were registered in the UK in 2015 after the fourth consecutive year of growth.

Overall, the market rose 6.3% last year to 2,633,503 units – exceeding forecast and outperforming the last record year in 2003 when 2,579,050 new cars left UK showrooms. This is only the fourth time that the market has surpassed 2.5 million vehicles in a full year.

The best-selling car was again the Ford Fiesta with 133,434 registrations, nearly half as many again as its nearest rival.

Growth was enjoyed across all sectors, with UK fleets boosting demand by 11.8% to reach an all-time high of 1.3 million units. Appetite in the private sector, meanwhile, was also robust, up 2.5%.

Gains were reported across all fuel types, with petrol and diesel registrations up 8.4% and 3% respectively with equal market shares. Alternatively-fuelled vehicle demand grew 40.3%, securing the biggest ever market share of 2.8% for a year. Plug-in hybrids experienced phenomenal growth, with volumes more than doubling, while pure electric vehicles saw an uplift of around 50%.

Last month also broke the record for December sales, up 8.4% on the previous year at 180,077. The market has posted increases in all bar one of the past 46 months.

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SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said high consumer confidence, wage growth and low-interest finance deals had encouraged motorists to buy new cars.

'The new car market defied expectations in 2015, hitting an all-time record driven by strong consumer and business confidence. Buyers took advantage of attractive finance deals and low inflation to secure some of the most innovative, hi-tech and fuel-efficient vehicles ever produced.

'The past four years have seen a remarkable period of sustained growth, and the outlook remains positive with every reason to expect the market to hold broadly steady in 2016.'