SUVs – success story of the UK car market

SUVs continue to be massively popular with car drivers.Over the past several years, the sector has outperformed every other sector of the new vehicle market and there is no indication that this trend will reverse as car manufacturers prepare to unveil an even greater variety of makes and models.

This is a sector that barely existed a decade ago, when annual sales totaled around 16,000 units or 11.6% of the total new car market.Last year, more than 817,000 of the total 2.5 million new car registrations were SUVs.That’s a market share of more than 30%.

In fact, it was the only sector of the declining new car market to see an increase last year.And during the first five months of this year, SUV sales have increased by 7.6% despite an 8.8% drop in the overall new car market.

It’s a similar story in the used car market, too, which fell by 1.1% last year.SUV sales increased by 9.5% - the strongest growth of any vehicle sector, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders, which is great news for residual values.In an analysis earlier this year, Auto Express noted that, along with 4x4s, SUVs are “currently top dogs when it comes to depreciation, with the most fashionable models in this sector staying highly desirable on the used market.”

What’s behind the phenomenal demand for SUVs?Motor data experts at HPI put it down to the SUV’s all-year-round lifestyle appeal, plus the wide range of models and sizes from which car buyers can choose.

HPI has calculated that 114 completely new models have been launched since 2015, and estimates that a further 20 or so will be launched within the next 12 months, including petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric versions.

“The SUV sector remains one of the most exciting vehicle sectors,” Mark Bulmer, an SUV analyst at HPI, said.“The growth of sales in just ten years is nothing short of staggering and shows no signs of applying the brakes.

“Manufacturers are putting a great deal of emphasis on design, styling and performance to capitalise on this continuous growth and it hasn’t finished growing yet. Boasting practicality, presence and efficiency, SUVs have become the vehicle of choice for families, easily meeting the demands of everyday family life, and we can expect to see plenty of new SUV models this year.”