London – New car registrations in the UK reached 156,737 units in the month of May, registering an almost eight-fold increase compared to 2020, latest data by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows.
The figure, however, remains 14.7% below the 2019 pre-pandemic levels, and 13.2% lower than the 10-year May average, SMMT said 4 June.
According to SMMT, May figures are in line with the UK’s most recent industry outlook, published in April, which sees the sector anticipating around 1.86 million registrations by the end of the year.
The full year projection is 14% higher than 1.63 million units registered in 2020, but significantly below the 2.3 million units sold in 2019.
In the first five months of the year, total registrations reached 296,448 fewer units, 29.1% less than the average recorded across January to May during the last decade, according to SMMT.
“With dealerships back open and a brighter, sunnier, economic outlook, May’s registrations are as good as could reasonably be expected,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.
“Increased business confidence is driving the recovery, something that needs to be maintained and translated in private consumer demand as the economy emerges from pandemic support measures,” he added.