New car registrations see seventh straight month of positive development
London – The UK new car market looks set for a year of double-digit growth after recording a seventh consecutive month of positive development, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
In February, new car registrations grew by 26.2% year-on-year to 74,441 despite it typically being a low-volume month ahead of the yearly number-plate change in March, SMMT reported 6 March.
The industry association linked the growth to an easing of supply-chain issues, noting that the registration level – though down 6.5% compared to 2020 – is inching closer to the pre-pandemic levels.
Last month saw almost universal growth across the market, with deliveries to private buyers up 5.8% and those to large fleets up 46.2%, continued SMMT.
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) recorded the most significant growth of all fuel types, up 40.0%, followed by petrol, up 35.8% – with a 56.9% market-share. Diesel registrations, including HEV versions, fell 7.0%.
“After seven months of growth, it is no surprise that the UK automotive sector is facing the future with growing confidence,” commented Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.
Hawes urged the government to “take every opportunity to back the market”, particularly as it plays a significant role in the UK economy and net-zero ambitions.
“As we move into ‘new plate month’ in March… the upcoming budget must deliver measures that drive this transition, increasing affordability and ease of charging for all,” the SMMT leader added.