Ford Fiesta SMMT new car registrations June 2014British car buyers have helped manufacturers record their best half-year new car registrations since 2005, with the market rising a hefty 10.6%.

1,287,265 new cars were registered in the first six months, including 228,291 in June alone. That was a more modest 6.2% rise, suggesting the pace of growth may be slowing, but it still leaves the new car market on track for 2.4 million registrations. That’s a rise of more than 6% on 2014.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, revealed several reasons behind the British new car boom. “Key to attracting consumers is the ever-improving efficiency of new cars, an important factor that is highlighted by the 51.3% increase in alternatively-fuelled vehicle registrations so far this year.”

He admitted the pace of growth caught the SMMT by surprise though. “The overall market has risen faster than we were expecting but, after a bumper March, growth is showing signs of stabilising around our forecast level.”

June 2014: Brits’ favourite new cars

It’s perhaps no surprise to read the Ford Fiesta topped the registrations charts, this month with an advantage of more than 3000 cars over its nearest challenger. The surprise came in which car that nearest challenger was: the Vauxhall Corsa. A number 2 slot for the ageing supermini in the same month its disguised replacement was first-driven by the press is impressive stuff from Vauxhall. Are dealers clearing the decks in preparation for the new model?

The Ford Focus was third, ahead of the Volkswagen Golf, which continues to out punch the fast-fading Vauxhall Astra. Nissan’s Qashqai took up its regular sixth-place slot, ahead of the Vauxhall Insignia, the big Vauxhall proving that D-sector cars can still sell in decent numbers. The Fiat 500, BMW 3 Series and Audi A3 rounded out the top 10.

June 2014 new car best-sellers top 10

1: Ford Fiesta – 11,213 cars

2: Vauxhall Corsa – 7961 cars

3: Ford Focus – 7399 cars

4: Volkswagen Golf – 6546 cars

5: Vauxhall Astra – 6249 cars

6: Nissan Qashqai – 5356 cars

7: Vauxhall Insignia – 4660 cars

8: Fiat 500 – 4177 cars

9: BMW 3 Series – 3961 cars

10: Audi A3 – 3893 cars