New cars stock pic via PA, Mar 2021New cars stock pic via PA, Mar 2021

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New car sales to retail buyers fall again as market hits one million mark

  • New car market hit one million mark in June
  • Sales of cars to retail buyers fell for ninth month in a row
  • Kia Sportage was June’s top seller

Time 9:23 am, July 4, 2024

Sales of new cars to retail buyers fell for the ninth month in a row in June, as the new car market hit the half-year one million mark.

A total of 1,006,763 new cars were registered in June, according to latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders – a 1.1% rise.

June’s numbers were 6.0% on the previous year but still down -20.7% on 2019.


Fleet sales dominated in June, accounting for a 14.2% rise, while retail sales were down by 15.3% – the nine consecutive month of decline. Retail buyers accounted for fewer than four in 10 new cars registered (37.7%).

Registrations of plug-in hybrids were up 30.0% to reach a 9.3% market share, while hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) rose 27.2% to achieve 14.9% of the market.

BEVs (battery electric vehicles) rose 7.4% and took their highest monthly share this year, accounting for 19.0% of all new vehicle registrations.


However, like in previous months, the growth in BEV registrations in June was entirely from the fleet sector, said the SMMT.

Private BEV uptake has fallen 10.8% year to date, with fewer than one in five new BEVs going to private buyers.

The trade body said BEV uptake is ‘behind the levels mandated by government’.

Once again the SMMT is calling for the halving of VAT on new electric cars for three years, and that VAT on public charging be slashed from 20% to 5%.

The top-selling car in June was the Kia Sportage with 4,113 registrations, followed by the Nissan Juke (3,891) and the Tesla Model Y (3,642).

The Ford Puma remains the year-to-date best-seller with 26,374 registrations.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘The year’s midpoint sees the new car market in its best state since 2021 – but this belies the bigger challenge ahead.

‘The private consumer market continues to shrink against a difficult economic backdrop, but with the right policies in place, the next government can re-energise the market and deliver a faster, fairer zero emission transition.

‘All parties are agreed on the need to cut carbon and replacing older fossil fuel based technologies with new electrified powertrains is the essential step to achieving that goal.’


James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.



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