New car sales at all-time high in 2015. Most funded by finance.

UK new car sales hit an all-time record in 2015, according to latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) with 80% of these are bought with some form of finance. The number of new vehicles registered in the UK came to a total of 2.63 million – an increase of 6% on 2014 and the surpassing the previous best of 2.58 million new cars sold in 2003. Over 57,000 cars were sold in Northern Ireland in the same period.

Reasons behind the growth in number of new cars on UK roads are believed to be down to stronger consumer confidence, special deals and cheap finance. In Northern Ireland Charles Hurst's Operations Director, Colin McNab, confirms what is important to customers. He commented:

"Affordability continues to be the key driver for local sales and cheap petrol prices and the option of little or no tax when purchasing a new car is still making the buying process extremely attractive, particularly for smaller, more affordable vehicles.”

The SMMT says that of the 80% of cars bought with some form of finance, around 60% are purchased using Personal Contract Payments (PCP).

Fans of the Ford Fiesta may not be surprised to know that this popular hatchback came out as the best-selling car across the year - taking that accolade for the seventh year in a row. By comparison to Europe the UK saw the second highest number of new cars registered, with Germany seeing the most with just under three million. Behind the UK are France, followed by Italy and Spain.

UK 2015 best-selling cars:

Ford Fiesta – 133,434

Vauxhall Corsa – 92,077

Ford Focus – 83,816

Volkswagen Golf – 73,409

Nissan Qashqai – 60,814

Volkswagen Polo – 54,900

Vauxhall Astra – 52,703

Audi A3 – 47,653

Mini – 47,076

Vauxhall Mokka – 45,399