UK New Car Market Falls -2.9% in February

According to data published by the SMMT, the UK new car market declined -2.9% in February with 79,594 models registered.

This decline was driven by weak consumer confidence and uncertainty over what fuel technology to buy.

  • Registrations by private buyers were down -7.4%.
  • Fleet demand was up by 31 registrations.
  • Diesel and petrol car registrations were down -27.1% and -7.3%.
  • Hybrids had an uplift of 71.9%.
  • Battery electric vehicles rose to 2,508 units.
  • Plug-in hybrids were up 49.9%.

Manufacturers will bring more than 23 new battery electric and 10 plug-in hybrid electric cars to the UK.

The SMMT are calling to remove VAT from all new battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric cars to increase sales.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Another month of decline for the new car market is especially concerning at a time when fleet renewal is so important in the fight against climate change. Next week’s Budget is the Chancellor’s opportunity to reverse this trend by restoring confidence to the market and showing that government is serious about delivering on its environmental ambitions. Industry has invested in the technology, with a huge influx of new zero- and ultra-low emission models coming to market in 2020, and we now need government to match this with a comprehensive package of incentives and infrastructure spending to accelerate demand. To drive the transition to zero emission motoring, we need carrots, not sticks – as the evidence shows, talk of bans and penalties only means people hang on to their older, more polluting vehicles for longer. It’s time for a change of approach, which means encouraging the consumer to invest in the cleanest new car that best suits their needs. If that is to be electric, government must take bold action to make these vehicles more affordable and as convenient to recharge as their petrol and diesel equivalents are to refuel.”

For more information, head over to SMMT.