Hire deals drive sales to new highs for 132
NEW-CAR sales are flying – they're nearing the 8,000 mark – thanks in substantial part to hire-drive deals.
The latest figures show 7,866 new cars have been registered, according to the SIMI. That compares with 2,236 for the corresponding period in 2012.
Dealers, salespeople and buyers are relatively happy with the way the 132-reg has gone so far. However, motor business insiders all point to the amount of hire-drive sales in there among the purchases.
And they ask where those cars will go when they come back off fleets in September and October.
Aside from that, there is a wide acceptance that the system will take a couple of years to bed in, though consumers seem to have come to terms with it better than anticipated.
The shrewd minds in the business are waiting to calculate the bottom line for sales from May through to the end of September so they can compare with the same period last year.
They will do so knowing that July, the start date for 132, has had a hugely distortional effect on sales in May, June and almost certainly September.
On the positive side of things, there is no doubt ordinary people are buying in reasonable numbers.
There were fears they might have delayed purchasing again until January when the new 141 registration comes in.
There is fierce competition still raging in the marketplace and some new model arrivals over the next few weeks will help fan the flames.
Nonetheless, most observers do not expect August to be scintillating.
But it is clear that if the deals and bargains are there, the twice-a-year opportunity to buy 'new' is helping people to think differently about when they purchase.