UK New Car Registrations Fall -44.4% In March

According to SMMT, the UK new car market declined -44.4% in March. 203,370 fewer cars were registered than March 2019, in the important plate change month.

The decline reflected the closure of showrooms with the government’s advice to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

254,684 new cars were registered in the month.

  • Demand from private buyers and larger fleets fell by -40.4% and 47.4%.
  • The number of petrol and diesel cars joining the roads were down -49.9% and 61.9%.
  • Registrations for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) rose to 11,694 units, which accounts for 4.6% of the market.
  • Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) grew 38.0%.
  • Hybrid electric vehicles fell -7.1%.

Companies are still working to ensure deliveries to critical workers, as well as keeping service and repair workshops open to maintain vehicles which are helping to deliver essential goods and services across the country.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “With the country locked down in crisis mode for a large part of March, this decline will come as no surprise. Despite this being the lowest March since we moved to the bi-annual plate change system, it could have been worse had the significant advanced orders placed for the new 20 plate not been delivered in the early part of the month. We should not, however, draw long term conclusions from these figures other than this being a stark realisation of what happens when economies grind to a halt. How long the market remains stalled is uncertain, but it will reopen and the products will be there. In the meantime, we will continue to work with government to do all we can to ensure the thousands of people employed in this sector are ready for work and Britain gets back on the move.”

For more information, head over to SMMT.