UK new car registrations grow for the first time since August 2020

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Author: | Updated: 06 Apr 2021 13:32

With car dealerships set to open next week, there has been further good news. The UK new car market has seen its first growth since August 2020, with 29,280 more units registered during March compared to the same month last year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Hang fire though, if we want the sector to return to pre-pandemic levels, roughly 8,300 new cars will need to be registered every single trading day for the rest of the year. Currently, the UK is hovering around 5,600 a day and during the past decade the industry has averaged around 7,300 a day.

It’s a big ask, however with staycations looking likely to be the only choice of holiday this year, you’ll need a new car to get you from A to B.

SMMT March 2021 new car registrations

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The past year has been the toughest in modern history and the automotive sector has, like many others, been hit hard. However, with showrooms opening in less than a week, there is optimism that consumer confidence – and hence the market – will return.

“We know we will see record breaking growth next month given April 2020 was a washout, but a strong and sustainable market is possible if customers are attracted to the choice and competitive offer the industry is able to provide within the safest of showroom environments.

“New plug-in models are already helping drive a recovery but to convince more retail consumers to make the switch, they must be assured these new technologies will be convenient for their driving needs and that means, above all, that the charging infrastructure is there where they need it, and when they need it.

SMMT March 2021 new car registrations

The plug-in vehicle demand has reached its highest ever volume with Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) now take up a combined market share of 13.9%, which is up 7.3% from last year. Why? This could be due to the number of models available increased from 72 to 116.

SMMT March 2021 new car registrations

  • Registrations of BEVs increased by 88.2% to 22,003 units.
  • Registrations of PHEVs increased by 152.2% to 17,330 units.
  • Registrations of Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) increased by 42.0% to 21,599 units.

SMMT March 2021 new car registrations

The Vauxhall Corsa is not only the best seller of March, but the best seller throughout the whole of 2021. It’s clear to see what the UK want in 2021, affordability. With 7/10 of these vehicles under £200 per month on our website, you won’t have to search around for a car that has low monthly costs - compare all lease deals under £200.

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