UK new car market sees first positive signs in five months

After five months of declines, UK new car registration numbers finally saw a rise in August, driven mainly by battery-electric registrations.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMNT) released the latest numbers this morning.

August is generally one of the quietest months for new car registrations, as licence plates are swapped in September.

However, the UK saw a 1.2 per cent rise in year-over-year registrations, seeing 68,858 units coming on to the register.

As you can see below, only petrol vehicles and battery electric registrations increased.

Electric saw a 35 per cent increase, while petrol was up 7.5 per cent.

SMNT Chief Executive Officer Mike Hawes noted this:

Spiralling energy costs and inflation on top of sustained supply chain challenges are piling even more pressure on the automotive industry’s post-pandemic recovery, and we urgently need the new Prime Minister to tackle these challenges and restore confidence and sustainable growth…With September traditionally a bumper time for new car uptake, next month will be the true barometer of industry recovery.

Year over year, the overall car registrations are still down across the UK.

Total car registrations are down 10.7 per cent, but some positives exist.

Both battery electric and hybrid electric vehicles have seen massive increases, with battery electric up 48.8 per cent and now making up 14.0 per cent of the market share.

In terms of best-selling vehicles, Volkswagen had two of the top five in August.

With Ford, Hyundai and Veuxhall rounding out the rest.

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