New cars lined up at a compound near Sheerness in Kent, via PANew cars lined up at a compound near Sheerness in Kent, via PA

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EU sees new car registrations go through the floor in Q1 thanks to record lows in April

  • New car registrations fall by 14.4 per cent in EU throughout Q1
  • Decline cemented after April saw a drop of 20.6 per cent
  • Fourth month of the year was worst on record, with the exemption of pandemic-hit 2020

Time 10:07 am, May 19, 2022

New car registrations in the EU fell by close to 15 per cent in the first quarter of the year thanks to record lows in April, new figures have shown.

Data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association – also known as ACEA – found that numbers slumped by 14.4 per cent in Q1.

Countries in the Bloc saw 2,930,366 new cars sold in the first four months of the year, with Italy seeing a drop of 26.5 per cent.


It was also a tough period for France, which saw registrations drop by 18.6 per cent; Spain, which experienced an 11.8 per cent fall, and Germany, which slumped by nine per cent.

In terms of market share, data revealed that BEVs made up ten per cent of the new cars sold and hybrids 25.1 per cent.

Petrol remains the most popular choice on the continent, as it does in the UK, with a 36 per cent market share.

The figures were dragged down by a record-breaking April, which was second only to the pandemic-hit 2020 as the weakest in terms of volumes.


Just 684,506 new passenger cars were registered across the EU in the fourth month of the year, following a tough March.

All major markets contributed to the region’s negative performance, with Italy again leading the decline with a 33 per cent drop off.

Next up was France on 22.6 per cent, Germany on 21.5 per cent and Spain, which saw registrations fall by 12.1 per cent.

Year-on-year, registrations in April declined by 20.6 per cent throughout Europe.

A report by ACEA concluded: ‘In April 2022, new passenger car registrations in the European Union saw a significant drop (-20.6 per cent), as supply chain issues continued to weigh heavily on car production.

‘With the exception of the pandemic year in 2020, this was the weakest April result in terms of volumes sold since records began (684,506 units sold).

‘All major markets contributed to the region’s negative performance: Italy (-33.0 per cent), France (-22.6 per cent), Germany (-21.5 per cent) and Spain (-12.1 per cent).’

It added:  ‘From January to April of 2022, new car registrations declined by 14.4 per cent across the EU, totalling 2,930,366 units.

‘The substantial decrease in car sales in March and April further dragged down the cumulative performance.

‘Among the key markets in the EU, Italy saw the steepest fall (-26.5 per cent), followed by France (-18.6 per cent), Spain (-11.8 per cent) and Germany (-9.0 per cent).

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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