UK new car sales grow for second consecutive month

New-car registrations in the UK saw their second consecutive month of growth in September 2022, but remain down on pre-Covid levels, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

A total of 225,269 new cars were registered in September 2022. Although this represented a 4.6 per cent increase compared with September 2021 – which was the weakest September on record since 1998 – it remains 34.4 per cent below typical pre-Covid levels for what is typically the second-biggest month of the year.

Fleet and business registrations grew healthily, while there was a slight decline in registrations for private buyers. September 2022 also saw the second-highest monthly volume of EV registrations in history, up 16.5 per cent to 38,116 units.

Plug-in hybrid registrations declined by 11.5 per cent to 12,281 units, but more than one in five new cars that joined UK roads in September 2022 had a plug. Some 249,575 plug-in cars have so far been registered in 2022.

Superminis were the most popular class of car, accounting for 30.9 per cent of all registrations.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “September has seen Britain’s millionth electric car reach the road – an important milestone in the shift to zero-emission mobility. Battery-electric vehicles make up but a small fraction of cars on the road, so we need to ensure every lever is pulled to encourage motorists to make the shift if our green goals are to be met.

“The overall market remains weak, however, as supply chain issues continue to constrain model availability. Whilst the industry is working hard to address these issues, the long-term recovery of the market also depends on robust consumer confidence and economic stability.”

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