New cars file photo, via PANew cars file photo, via PA


UK new car market falls by nearly three per cent in February

Time 9:15 am, March 5, 2020

THE UK new car market sank by 2.9 per cent last month, according to data published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

A total of 79,594 models were registered in the month, traditionally one of the year’s quietest ahead of the crucial March number plate change, with the decline driven primarily by weak consumer confidence and uncertainty over what fuel technology to buy, said the industry body.

Registrations by private buyers were responsible for the bulk of the overall loss, down some 7.4 per cent as 2,741 fewer people took delivery of new cars. Fleet demand, however, remained stable – up by 31 registrations.

Demand for both diesel and petrol cars fell in the month, with registrations down 27.1 per cent and 7.3 per cent respectively, and diesel now accounting for just over a fifth of sales (21.9 per cent).

Source: SMMT

Hybrids (HEVs) recorded an uplift of 71.9 per cent to 4,154 units, while registrations of zero-emission-capable cars also continued to enjoy growth, with battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) rising more than threefold to 2,508 units and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) up 49.9 per cent to 2,058. However, these vehicles still make up just 5.8 per cent of the market and BEVs only 3.2 per cent.

Source: SMMT

The SMMT is calling for the removal of VAT from all new battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric cars to encourage their uptake.

MORE: SMMT urges chancellor to axe VAT on electric vehicles in Budget

MORE: Seven per cent drop in new car registrations is unsettling, says SMMT

MORE: 2019’s new car market sinks to lowest level for six years

MORE: Record demand for alternatively fuelled cars in November but overall UK market falls

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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