UK New Car Market Down A Third

According to SMMT, UK new car registrations fell -34.9% in June with 145,377 new car registrations. This is a decline of 78,044 compared with June 2019. However, the drop was an improvement on May’s -89% wipe-out.

The market is almost 616,000 units (-48.5%) behind from the same period last year. 240,000 private sales have been lost, resulting in an estimated £1.1 billion loss to the Treasury in VAT receipts alone.

Private demand was down -19.2% in June, resulting in 72,827 registrations. Fleet sales fell -45.2% to 69,498 units.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “While it’s welcome to see demand rise above the rock-bottom levels we saw during lockdown, this is not a recovery and barely a restart. Many of June’s registrations could be attributed to customers finally being able to collect their pre-pandemic orders, and appetite for significant spending remains questionable. The government must boost the economy, help customers feel safer in their jobs and in their spending and give businesses the confidence to invest in their fleets. Otherwise it runs the risk of losing billions more in revenue from this critical sector at a time when the public purse needs it more than ever.”

The retail automotive sector employs more than 590,000 people, with a £200 billion turnover. The annual tax-take from VAT, VED, etc., on new car sales to private buyers alone adds up to £5.4 billion. This sector also helps drive the UK’s £82 billion automotive manufacturing industry, with a further 168,000 high-skilled jobs. All delivering billions to the economy every year.

For more information, head over to SMMT.