UK new car market grows in July as sunny summer lifts buyers’ mood

Time 9:24 am, August 6, 2018

THE UK new car market remained stable in July, with year-on-year demand growing by 1.2 per cent, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

A total of 163,898 new cars were registered in the month as the market stabilised following a turbulent first half of the year.

Although registrations by businesses with fleets of 25 cars or fewer fell by 10.2 per cent, demand from private buyers was up by 0.1 per cent on the same month in 2017. Meanwhile, large fleets grew by 2.6 per cent.

In terms of fuel type, the market followed the trend of previous months, with diesel registrations falling 24.4 per cent as petrol demand grew 20.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, alternatively-fuelled vehicles enjoyed an uplift of 21 per cent, with market share of hybrids and plug-ins reaching a record 6.5 per cent.

Growth was particularly strong for plug-in hybrids, up by a third (33.5 per cent), while hybrid registrations grew 17.5 per cent, followed by battery electric cars, up 2.4 per cent.

Year to date, the market remains down by 5.5 per cent, broadly in line with expectations as demand begins to level out. In the first seven months of the year, almost 1.5 million new cars were registered by consumers and businesses in the UK.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘The feel-good factor from a sun and sport-packed July, combined with some fantastic deals on a raft of exciting new models, clearly helped keep showrooms relatively busy last month.

‘It’s great to see alternatively fuelled vehicles benefiting from this growth, and government’s acknowledgement of the vital role new-tech diesel will play in its Road to Zero strategy should help more even more motorists benefit from the latest, safest and low emission technology over the coming months.’

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Dave Brown's avatar

Dave, production editor on Car Dealer Magazine, is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience in the worlds of newspapers, magazines and public relations.

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