July 21, 2024

New car sales in the UK predicted to surpass one million in the first half of 2024.

New car sales in the UK have surpassed the “million motors” milestone in the first half (H1) of 2024, a milestone not reached since 2019, as per the latest report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The increase in new car registrations is mainly due to the strong commercial demand, surpassing retail purchases, according to the industry body.

Just last month, new car registrations saw a 1.1% year-over-year increase to 179,263 units.

As a result, the total number of new cars registered in the first half of 2024 has reached 1,006,763, marking a 6% rise from the previous year.

However, this number is still lower than the 1,269,245 new car registrations recorded in the first half of 2019 by 20.7%.

The growth in the market in June was primarily driven by the fleet sector, which experienced a 14.2% surge in uptake.

In contrast, private retail demand has been declining for nine consecutive months, with a reported 15.3% drop.

SMMT’s data indicates that retail buyers now account for less than four out of ten new car registrations, at 37.7%.

On the other hand, electrified vehicles continue to see growth, with plug-in hybrid (PHEV) volumes increasing by 30% to claim a market share of 9.3%.

Hybrid-electric vehicles (HEV) also recorded a 27.2% increase, securing a 14.9% market share.

Despite these gains, the growth of battery electric vehicles (BEV) was more modest at 7.4%, although BEVs achieved their highest monthly share this year, accounting for 19% of all new vehicle registrations.

Year to date, private BEV uptake decreased by 10.8%, with less than one in five new BEVs being registered by private buyers, as per SMMT.

Overall, BEVs now constitute 16.6% of the new car market so far this year, up from 16.1% in the same period last year.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes stated, “The private consumer market continues to shrink in a challenging economic climate, but with the right policies in place, the next government can revitalize the market and facilitate a quicker, fairer transition to zero-emission vehicles.”

“All parties agree on the necessity to reduce carbon emissions, and replacing older fossil fuel-based technologies with new electrified powertrains is crucial to achieving that objective,” Hawes added.

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