New car registrations grow for 14th consecutive month in September

Registrations for new cars during September swelled by 21 per cent according to new figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

In total, 272,610 new cars were registered during the month, with much of this increase being driven by the arrival of the new ‘73’ registration plate. It represents a 21 per cent increase on the same month last year and makes it the 14th consecutive month of growth.

It also represents the best September since 2020, though the market is still down by close to 21 per cent compared with pre-pandemic levels.

⬆️272,610 new cars registered
?Fleets drive expansion
⚡️ZEV demand continues to grow, but industry calls for private motorist support

— SMMT (@SMMT) October 5, 2023

The fleet sector was behind much of the growth, with this area of the market rising 40.8 per cent to 143,256 units to take up a market share of 52.5 per cent. Private sales, in contrast, were up by 5.8 per cent to take a 6.8 per cent market share overall.

Demand for hybrid vehicles grew by 30.7 per cent, while demand for battery electric vehicles increased by 18.9 per cent for a total of 45,323 units. This also represents the 41st consecutive month of growth for the battery electric segment.

However, while the registration figures for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) grew, this increased demand was driven largely by the fleet sector which has caused the SMMT to call for private buyer support.

— SMMT (@SMMT) October 5, 2023

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “A bumper September means the new car market remains strong despite economic challenges. However, with tougher EV targets for manufacturers coming into force next year, we need to accelerate the transition, encouraging all motorists to make the switch.

“This means adding carrots to the stick – creating private purchase incentives aligned with business benefits, equalising on-street charging VAT with off-street domestic rates and mandating chargepoint rollout in line with how electric vehicle sales are now to be dictated. The forthcoming Autumn Statement is the perfect opportunity to create the conditions that will deliver the zero emission mobility essential to our shared net zero ambition.”

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