Plate change boost

for new car market

Skoda Fabia, 2022, 72 registration plate

BRITAIN'Snew car market recorded its second successive monthof growth in the key ‘new plate' month of September,withregistrations rising4.6 per cent, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Duringwhat is typically the second biggest monthof the year for thesector,225,269carsjoined Britain's roads.

While this wasa9,957 unit increaseonlast year,whenthe industry recordedits weakest September since 1998,overall registrationsfor the month are still some34.4 per cent below pre-pandemic levelsas the industry continues to battle issues constraining supply to fulfila backlog oforders.

Bucking recent trends, registrations by large fleetsgrew by 12.5 per centor11,315units, althoughthis still represents a significant declineof almost 40 per cent on pre-pandemic volumes.

Registrations to private buyers, meanwhile,fell by 3.6 per cent.

Electric vehicle uptake continued to rise, albeit at a slower rate of growth than seen earlier in the year, with the second highest monthly volume of battery electric vehicle registrations in history, up 16.5 per cent to 38,116 units.

Althoughregistrations ofplug-in hybrid vehicles declinedby11.5 per centto12,281 units, overall plug-in vehicles accounted formore than oneinfivenewcars joining UK roadsin the month.

As a result, almost quarter of a million - 249,575 - have now been registered in 2022 meaning that UK drivers and fleets have now registered more than one million plug-in EVs, a quarter of which in this year alone.

Hybrid electric vehicle registrations, meanwhile, grew by 16.5 per cent to 29,088units in the month, as petrolpoweredcarsgrew 4.3 per cent to 126,873 unitsand dieselsfellby 14.5 per cent to 18,911.6

In terms of segments, the largest growth was seen in multi-purpose vehicles, which rose 509.2 per cent, adding more than 10,000 units, to 12,068, a result ofkey new model availability.Superminis remained the most popular segment overall, accounting for 30.9 per cent of all registrations.

While growth is welcome following a torrid first half of the year, total registrations for 2022 remain down by 8.2 per cent on a weak 2021 performance and more than a third below the first three quarters of pre-pandemic 2019, equivalent to 653,903 fewer units.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "September has seen Britain's millionth electric car reach the road - an important milestone in the shift to zero emission mobility. Battery electric vehicles make up but a small fraction of cars on the road, so we need to ensure every lever is pulled to encourage motorists to make the shift if our green goals are to be met.

"Theoverall market remains weak, however, as supply chain issues continue to constrain model availability. Whilst the industry is working hard to address these issues, the long-term recovery of the market also dependson robust consumerconfidence and economic stability."

The top selling car in September was the British-built Nissan Qashqai which sold 9,311 units, followed by the Tesla Model Y on 8,315 and the Volkswagen Polo with 6,476 sales.

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